has been lurking in the Preface since Advent first began [...whose way John the Baptist proclaimed...]. But this coming Sunday he steps out on center stage in the readings and hymnody - only to point his disciples (and us) away from himself to the One who "is to come" - our Lord Jesus. The whole of John's ministry is beautifully captured in the ancient Latin office hymn, which also serves as our Hymn of the Day for Gaudete: "Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding" [Note: LSB supplies the sturdy tune Merton to this hymn]
Hark! A thrilling voice is sounding!
"Christ is near" we hear it say.
"Cast away the works of darkness
All you children of the day."
Startled at the solemn warning
See the earthbound soul arise;
Christ, its sun, all sloth dispelling
Breaks upon the morning skies.
See, the Lamb so long expected
Comes with pardon down from heaven.
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
One and all, to be forgiven.
So, when next He comes in glory
And the world is wrapped in fear,
He will shield us with His presence
And with words of love draw near.
Honor, glory, might, dominion
To the Father and the Son
With the ever-living Spirit
While eternal ages run.