And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me (1 Cor 11:24).
Many Christian churches across denominations take communion, or the Lord’s Supper, on Christmas Eve. E. Margaret Clarkson wrote the words to Communion Hymn for Christmas sometime before 1986. Tom Fettke and William Kirkpatrick wrote the music, Cradle Song, for the hymn which was first published in 1986 by Word Music, LLC.
The message of this hymn is humbling. It shows us the contrast of a little baby lying in a stable bed to the picture of a crucified savior dying for you sin and for mine. Communion Hymn for Christmas tells us how again the great story of how the Prince of Glory so loved us that He came to earth, by birth through a poor virgin, to die for us. We cannot truly fathom God’s love, no matter how much we try. Ms. Clarkson implores us to think about Christ’s sacrifice for us as we celebrate Christmas and communion. As we look at Christmas we should see the cross beyond the manger; for Christ was born to die for us. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). Please dwell on the lyrics of this beautiful hymn, each verse.
Gathered round Your table on this holy eve,
Viewing Bethlehem’s stable we rejoice and grieve;
Joy to see You lying in Your manger bed,
Weep to see You dying in our sinful stead.
Prince of Glory, gracing Heav’n ere time began,
Now for us embracing death as Son of Man;
By Your birth so lowly, by Your love so true,
By Your cross most holy, Lord, we worship You!
Bethlehem’s Incarnation, Calvary’s bitter cross,
Wrought for us salvation by Your pain and loss;
Now we fall before You in this holy place,
Prostrate we adore You, for Your gift of grace.
With profoundest wonder we Your body take–
Laid in manger yonder, broken for our sake:
Hushed in adoration we approach the cup–
Bethlehem’s pure oblation freely offered up.
You may hear a short clip of Communion Hymn for Christmas here from Stephanie Seefeldt’s Cradle & Cross album. Links to purchase the song or entire album are available at http://www.stephanieseefeldt.com/StephanieSeefeldt/music.html.