O Little Town of Bethlehem

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O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God, the King,
And peace to men on earth.
For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His Heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him, still
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Immanuel.

In this version of the lovely old carol, the two four-line sections of the second verse have been interchanged, differing from the traditional version. This is done in some song or carol books, including the Salvation Army’s 2015 Song Book, and perhaps the words make more sense in this order. They were written by the prominent 19th century clergyman, Reverend Phillips Brooks.

Brooks-PortraitA little before Christmas in 1865, Reverend Brooks was travelling in the Holy Land. As he rode on horseback from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, the town came into view, inspiring him to write the lyrics of this carol. Not until three years later did he put pen to paper, however. He intended the song for use by the Sunday School children at his church in Philadelphia. Brooks asked his very capable organist, Lewis Redner, to write the music. The tune is called St. Louis, according to the wish of Reverend Brooks to honour Lewis, but it is not known why the names are spelled differently. Alternate tunes are sometimes used. One is Forest Green, an English folk tune arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Another was written by Henry Walford Davies and titled Christmas Carol . No matter which tune we use, how beautifully this carol brings us close to the scene and the atmosphere into which Jesus was born!

S.A. SONG BOOK, 2015 EDITION, #118; 1987 EDITION, #86

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COVID 19 Update

The members of The Salvation Army Oshawa Temple want to protect you from any Covid-19 spread yet, at the same time, wish to journey life with you. 

At present, there are still reports of new strains of Covid-19 spread and, unfortunately, we are not at a level of vaccination that safely allows us to congregate. Therefore, we have initiated the following:

 In-Person Church Services are postponed until further notice, but our ONLINE SERVICES, complete with music, songs, prayer, and Biblically focused sermons can be found here. [Click to follow]

 Our CHURCH OFFICE is closed, but we are still available Monday – Friday (9:30 am – 3:00 pm).  If you have enquiries, needs, prayer requests, or simply want to discuss life, please connect with us by phone at 905-436-0011, text us at 289-768-5959, or email the office. Email address is  office@saoshawa.ca 

 Our FOOD BANK and THRIFT STORE are open in downtown Oshawa, but if you are solely in need of food, please make an appointment at 905-723-7422 ext 221. 

 DONATIONS can be dropped off at the Thrift Store.  Please access the Albert Street side of the building in downtown Oshawa from Monday – Friday (9:30 am – 4:30 pm) and Saturday (10:00 am – 4:00 pm).  The Thrift Store is closed on Sunday. More Thrift Store Details… [Click to follow]

 COUNSELLING SERVICES, including aid with annual TAX RETURNS, continue Monday – Friday (9:30 am – 4:30 pm),  but please call for an appointment at 905-723-7422. Registration for The Low Income Tax Clinic is online. [Click to follow]