The “Preface” and “Great Thanksgiving” portions of the Christmas Eve liturgy were adapted by
Pastor JP Bohanan from the hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” (from the 4th
century Liturgy of St. James) and the prayer “Adore Te Devote” (attributed
to St Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274).
King of kings, yet born of Mary,
as of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
in the body and the blood;
he will give to all the faithful
his own self for heavenly food.
At his feet the six-winged seraph,
cherubim, with sleepless eye,
veil their faces to the presence,
as with ceaseless voice they cry:
Holy, Lord Most High!
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows,
See, Lord, at thy service, low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Taste, and touch, and vision, to discern thee fail;
Faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.
I believe whate’er the Son of God hath told;
What the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.
Jesus, whom now veiled, I by faith decry,
What my soul doth thirst for, do not, Lord, deny,
That thy face unveiled, I at last may see,
With the blissful vision blest, my God, of thee.