In This Night

In this night of reconcilement let no man be wroth or gloomy!
In this night that stills all, none that threatens or disturbs!
This night belongs to the sweet One; bitter or harsh be in it none!
In this night that is the meek One’s, high or haughty be in it none!
In this day of pardoning let us not exact trespasses!
In this day of gladnesses let us not spread sadnesses!
In this day so sweet, let us not be harsh!
In this day of peaceful rest, let us not be wrathful in it!
In this day when God came to sinners, let not the righteous be in his mind uplifted over sinner!
In this day in which there came the Lord of all unto the servants, let masters too condescend to their servants lovingly!
In this day in which the Rich became poor for our sakes, let the rich man make the poor man share with him at his table.
On this day to us came forth the Gift, although we asked it not!
Let us therefore bestow alms on them that cry and beg of us.
This is the day that opened for us a gate on high to our prayers. Let us open also gates to supplicants that have transgressed, and of us have asked [forgiveness.]
Today the Lord of nature was against His nature changed; let it not to us be irksome to turn our evil wills.
Fixed in nature is the body; great or less it cannot become: but the will has such dominion, it can grow to any measure.
Today Godhead sealed itself upon Manhood, that so with the Godhead’s stamp Manhood might be adorned.

St. Ephrem The Syrian, Hymns on the Nativity, Hymn 1, NPNF Second Series, Volume 13.

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