The Sarum Missal appointed a farced Lesson for Christmas Midnight Mass – that is, a reading from the Prophet Isaias (ix, 2. 6-7) interpolated with a gloss, bringing out the Christian meaning of what he foretold. Two clerks in copes were to chant the Lesson, first together, then alterately, then together at the end for a doxology. An English translation follows:
I will sing praises to God for ever, Who formed me in His Right Hand, and redeemed me on the Cross with the purple Blood of His Son.
The Lesson of Esaias the Prophet,
In which is foretold the glorious Birth of Christ.
Thus saith the Lord,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by Whom are created all things in Heaven and earth.
The people that walked in darkness
Whom Thou createdest: whom the enemy expelled from Paradise by subtle fraud: and led captive with him to hell.
Have seen a great light.
And at midnight strange brightness hath shone on the Shepherds,
They that dwell in the shadow of death, the light
Everlasting, and our True Redemption
Upon them hath shined.
O Stupendous Birth,
For unto us a Child is born,
Jesus the Son of God, He shall be great ,
Of the highest Father
Unto us is given.
So had it been foretold from the Throne on high.
And the government shall be upon His shoulder,
That He may rule Heaven and earth.
And His Name shall be called
Messiah, Soter, Emmanuel, Sabaoth, Adonai,
The Root of David,
Of God the Father,
Who created all things,
Overthrowing the hideous gates of hell.
The Everlasting Father,
King Almighty, and governing all,
The Prince of Peace
Here and for ever.
Of the increase of His government
In Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria
And peace there shall be no end,
For ever and ever,
Upon the Throne of David, and upon his kingdom,
And there shall be no bounds to His reign
To order it,
In the bonds of the faith,
And to establish it with judgment and with justice,
When He shall come as Judge to judge the world.
To Him be due glory, praise, and rejoicing,
Even for ever.
From the rising of the Sun to the going down of the same, let meet praise resound to the Creator throughout all climes to the ends of the whole world. Let every thing say, Amen.