Blessed be Thy Birth that Gladdens all Creatures!
(Resp. -- Blessed be thy Birth that gladdens all creatures!)

1. The first year wherein, our Saviour was born, -- is source of blessing, and ground of life; -- for by it are borne, -- manifold triumphs, the sum of all help: -- as the first day of "the beginning," -- the great pillar of all creatures, -- bears the building of Creation; -- so the year of the Firstborn bears help for man.

2. In the second year, of our Saviour's Birth, -- the Magi exult, the Pharisees mourn: -- treasures are opened, -- kings are hastening, and infants are slain. -- For in it are offered in Bethlehem, -- oblations precious and terrible; -- for while love made offering of gold, -- hatred offered infants by the sword.

3. The day of the All-Lightening, exults in His birth; -- a pillar of radiance, which drives away, by its beams -- the works of darkness. After the type of that day, wherein light was created, -- and sundered the darkness that spread -- over the fair beauty of Creation; -- the radiance of our Saviour's birth -- came in to sunder the darkness that was on the heart.

4. The first day the source and the beginning, -- orders the roots, to make all things grow. -- Our Saviour's day -- is praised far above it, a tree planted in the world. -- For His Death is as the root in the earth; His Resurrection as the head in heaven; on all sides His words reach as boughs; likewise His Body as fruit for the eaters.

5. Let the second day, sing praise to the Birth -- of the second Son, and His voice which first -- commanded the firmament and it was made, -- divided the waters that were above, and gathered the seas that were under. -- He Who divided waters from waters, divided Himself from the Watchers and came down to man. -- For the waters which at His command were gathered. -- He cleft the fountain of life and gave drink.

6. Let the third day weave with divers hymns -- the crown of psalms and with one voice present it -- for His Birth who gave growth -- of buds and flowers, on the third day. -- But now He the All-giver of growth, -- has come down and become the All-holy Flower; from the thirsting earth has sprang forth and gone up, -- that he may decorate and crown the conquerors.

7. Let the fourth day praise, first among the four, -- His Birth Who created as the fourth day -- the two lightgivers, -- which fools worship, and are sightless and blind. -- The Lord of Lightgivers has come down, -- and from the womb has shone on us as the Sun. -- His splendours have opened the eyes of the blind: -- His rays have given light to the wandering.

8. Let the fifth day laud Him Who created -- on the fifth day creeping things and Dragons -- of whose kind is the serpent. -- He deceived with guile our mother, a maid void of counsel. -- The deceiver who had mocked the maid, -- by the Dove was exposed as false, -- which from a virgin bosom sprang, and came forth -- the Wise that trod down the crafty.

9. Let the sixth day laud Him who created -- on Vesper-day Adam, whom Satan envied; as a feigned friend -- cheered him in offering poison in his food. -- The medicine of life reached them both, -- put on a body and came near to both. -- The mortal tasted Him and lived through Him; -- the devourer who ate Him was left void.

10. Let the seventh day hallow the Holy One, -- Who halloweth the Sabbath, and gave rest to all that live. -- The Blessed One Who wearied not -- has care for mankind, and has care for the beasts. -- When Freedom fell under the yoke, -- He came to the Birth and became bond to make it free: -- He was smitten on the face by servants in the judgment hall; -- He broke the yoke that was on the free, as Lord.

11. Let the eighth day, which circumcised the Hebrews, -- praise Him Who commanded his namesake Joshua -- to circumcise with a flint -- the people circumcised in body, while the heart was profane within. -- Lo! as the eighth day, as a Babe, -- to circumcision He came Who circumcises all. -- Though the sign of Abraham is on His Flesh, -- the blind daughter of Sion had defiled it.

12. Let the tenth day sing, praises in its turn. -- For God the first letter of Jesus (goodly name!), is ten in numbering. -- He Who is as a lamb, turns back the numbers. -- For when the number goes up to ten, it is turned back to begin again from one. O great mystery of that which is in Jesus, Whose might turns all creation back again!

13. The All-Purifier Firstborn in the day of His purifying, -- purified the purification of the firstborn and was offered [508] in the Temple: -- the Lord of offering needed offerings, -- to make offering of birds. -- In His Birth were fulfilled the types, -- in His purification and circumcision the allegories. -- He came and paid over debts in His coming down; -- in His Resurrection He went up and sent down treasures.


[508] Sc., in the Presentation, St. Luke 2:22.

hymn xviii praise be to
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