“Come Spirit, Occupy the Earth”
1. Come Christmas, Francis calls his friends
to make a place for Christ on earth;
Sing now to re-awake the world,
the rocks and wood to echo birth.
2. Laid cold on hay, ‘twixt ox and mule,
no wood-stoked fire to warm the night,
Cry sister, brother: “Born again!”
“In this place, a new Bethlehem.”
3. Who was asleep within our hearts,
forgotten, dead beside our cares;
Recalled to memory and life,
received and teaching hearts made right.
4. Now giving forth to those in need,
gathered in healing, here to feed,
Your truth to bring and peace to seed;
your loving-kindness offering.
5. Come Spirit, occupy the earth,
the poor and lowly hold in worth;
Your love illuminate our sight
and multiply your gifts aright.
for those keeping a “Watch-Night” Vigil,
preparing to enter a New Year in faith,
an additional verse may be added:
6. This Watchnight, make us God your friends,
the coming year to make amends;
Ring true again your promises,
that peace and mercy here may kiss.
by William B. Jones, Advent, 2011,
based on the nativity scene of Francis of Assisi
as told by Thomas of Celano and Julian of Speyer.
tune: Tallis’ Canon (“All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night”) L.M. 126.96.36.199
“Veni Sancte Spiritus” (“Come Holy Spirit”) chapel window at Academy of Notre Dame, Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, photo courtesy of Elizabeth Rossano.