Friday, December 24, 2010

Nine Lessons and Carols, Part II: The First Reading

The first reading is recited by one of the boys in the choir. Each reading is preceded by a sentence or two about the text and a carol that relates to the reading follows.


God tells sinful Adam that he has lost the life of Paradise and that his seed will bruise the serpent’s head.

GENESIS 3:8-19 (ESV):

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God
walking in the garden
in the cool of the day,
and the man and his wife hid themselves
from the presence of the Lord God
among the trees of the garden.

9 But the Lord God called to the man
and said to him,

“Where are you?”

10 And he said,

“I heard the sound of you in the garden,
and I was afraid, because I was naked,
and I hid myself.”

11 He said,

“Who told you that you were naked?
Have you eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man said,

“The woman whom you gave to be with me,
she gave me fruit of the tree,
and I ate.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman,

“What is this that you have done?”

The woman said,

“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.

15 "I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

18 "thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.

19 "By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”



Boris Ord, "Adam Lay Ybounden"

Adam lay ybounden
Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter,
Thought he not too long.

And all was for an apple
An apple that he took.
As clerkes finden,
Written in their book.

Ne had the apple taken been
The apple taken been,
Ne had never our ladie,
Abeen heav'ne queen.

Blessed be the time
That apple taken was,
Therefore we moun singen.
Deo gracias!


JS Bach, BWV 637, "Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt"

Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt
Menschlich Natur und Wesen,
Dasselb Gift ist auf uns errebt,
Daß wir nicht mocht'n genesen
Ohn' Gottes Trost, der uns erlöst
Hat von dem großen Schaden,
Darein die Schlang Eva bezwang,
Gotts Zorn auf sich zu laden.


JS Bach, BWV 641, "Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein"

All mankind fell in Adam’s fall,
One common sin infects us all;
From sire to son the bane descends,
And over all the curse impends.

Through all man’s powers corruption creeps
And him in dreadful bondage keeps;
In guilt he draws his infant breath
And reaps its fruits of woe and death.

From hearts depraved, to evil prone,
Flow thoughts and deeds of sin alone;
God’s image lost, the darkened soul
Nor seeks nor finds its heav’nly goal.

But Christ, the second Adam, came
To bear our sin and woe and shame,
To be our Life, our Light, our Way,
Our only Hope, our only Stay.

As by one man all mankind fell
And, born in sin, was doomed to hell,
So by one Man, who took our place,
We all received the gift of grace.

We thank Thee, Christ; new life is ours,
New light, new hope, new strength, new powers:
This grace our every way attend
Until we reach our journey’s end!


The English translation into verse of "Durch Adam's Fall" is "All Mankind Fell." The English version is in a different meter, so the English speaking church uses a different tune.

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