Now the Work of Christmas Begins

The feast of Epiphany today brings the Christmas season to an end. To mark the day, here’s a litany called “Now the Work of Christmas Begins” composed by Howard Thurman, an African-American theologian, educator, and civil rights leader.

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.

About Jim Manney 779 Articles

Jim Manney is the author of highly praised popular books on Ignatian spirituality, including A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer (about the Daily Examen) and God Finds Us (about the Spiritual Exercises). He is the compiler/editor of An Ignatian Book of Days. His latest book is Ignatian Spirituality A to Z. He and his wife live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

5 Comments on Now the Work of Christmas Begins

    • Interesting…when I read African American, I also wondered why it was added to Howard Thurman’s description, and gave it very little thought until I read your comment, Linda G

  1. The Work of Christmas – title of my sermon on Dec.28th. It was great to see the original poem was composed by Howard Thurman. I’m going to say that the work of Christmas is more than Thurman’s list of good Christian / civic minded things to do, as important as they are. I believe the Work of Christmas is the Work of LOVE and that work is as much the little ways we care for self, each other and creation. As we learn to love self, we learn to love others and creation. The source of Love is our Creator as taught us by Jesus the Christ.

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