An ancient hymn on the Nativity of Christ
Sons of men,
do you truly speak of justice?
Dwellers on the earth,
do you truly judge with fairness?
We confess with unshakable faith
God, who was made man
and who was given birth by a Virgin.
Before all time he was begotten
of an immeasurable Father;
now we adore him who became incarnate
in a Virgin’s womb.
He is the creator or all,
himself remaining invisible and distinct from creation.
So we are able to say:
in you, Lord, is mercy; glory be to you.
you have deigned to be born, a tiny child, from a Virgin.
you have willed to rest in the arms of Mary.
Holy Immortal One!
you have come to rescue Adam from hell.
O immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, full of grace,
Emmanuel, whom you have carried,
is the fruit of your womb.
In your maternal bosom you have nourished all men.
You are above all praise and all glory.
Hail, Mother of God, joy of the angels!
The fullness of grace in you
goes beyond what the prophets foretold.
The Lord is with you,
for you have given birth
to the Saviour of the world.
An ancient eastern hymn on the Nativity; found on an ostrakon now in the National Museum of Brussels
Monumenta Ecclesiae Liturgica, Vol. I, p. 232