This is the record of John - Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)


This is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not, and said plainly, I am not the Christ.

And they asked him, What art thou then? Art thou Elias? And he said, I am not. Art thou that Prophet? And he answered, No.

Then said they unto him, What art thou? that we may give an answer unto them that sent us. What say’st thou of thyself? And he said, I am the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord.


Text: John 1 vv. 19–23


Comfort, comfort ye my people - Claude Goudimel (c. 1514-1572)


Comfort, comfort ye my people,

speak ye peace, thus saith our God;

comfort those who sit in darkness,

mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.

Speak ye to Jerusalem

of the peace that waits for them;

tell her that her sins I cover,

and her warfare now is over.


Text: Johannes Olearius (1611-1684), Translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)



A spotless rose - Herbert Howells (1892-1983)


A spotless rose is blowing sprung from a tender root,

Of ancient seers’ foreshowing of Jesse, promised fruit.

Its fairest bud unfolds to light amid the cold, cold winter, 

And in the dark midnight.

The rose which I am singing, whereof Isaiah said, 

Is from its sweet root springing in Mary, purest Maid.

For though our God’s great love and might, 

The Blessed Babe she bare us, in a cold, cold winter’s night.


Text: Latin, 16th century, Translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)


Benedictus in C -  Charles V. Stanford (1852-1924)



Comfort, comfort ye my people - Claude Goudimel (c. 1514-1572)


A tender shoot - Otto Goldschmidt (1829-1907)


A tender shoot hath started

Up from a root of grace,

As ancient seers imparted,

From Jesse’s holy race,

It blooms without blight,

Blooms in the cold bleak winter

Turning darkness into light.


This shoot Isaiah taught us

From Jesse’s root should spring,

The Virgin Mary brought us

The branch of which we sing,

Our God of endless might,

Gave her this child to save us

Thus turning darkness into light.


Words anonymous 16th century

Tr. William Bartholomew (1793–1867)