December 24/5, 2019: Christmas – Midnight, Dawn and Day
The Collegeville Composers provided one Song for the Table for all the Christmas Masses.
At first glance, the antiphon may seem long, but an amount of repetition helps to make it accessible and memorable. The text comes from the Prologue to John’s Gospel, the Christmas Day Mass pericope:
this life was the light of the human raceJohn 1:4
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.John 1:9
From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace,John 1:16-17
because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
We continue to receive the fullness of Christ in the form of the bread and wine of the Eucharist.
Furthermore, the Collegeville Composers Group provides verses from 1 John and Isaiah 35. During the Communion procession we can identify especially with this couplet:
If we walk in the light as he himself is light,1 John 1:7
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
The final two notes of the antiphon are Gs, not Fs, the half-close leaving the way open for prayer to continue. The psalm tone is the simplest imaginable: a single note (G) with one momentary dip to F near the end of every other line — forming an effective contrast with all the other glorious music that will have been sung during Christmastide.