Tag Archives: Christmas 2017

Oh, Christmas Tree!

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I took down our Christmas tree this morning and put all the ornaments away. Then vacuumed. It’s a big job, and I’m pooped. But then it’s an even bigger job to set it up. Why do we do it?

First we put on the lights. We use lights from the store Grandpa had in the 1930s, and they all still work. Then there’s a ton of ornaments to put on. Each and every one of our ornaments has a story: they’re a kind of history of our family. They bring vividly to mind the people we’ve loved, and good times shared with them. You might wonder what a Christmas tree has to do with the birth of Jesus Christ Our Savior. But God ordained the family, God loves the family, and it’s one of those things that His Son came to earth to save.

I put the tree out on the curb with a prayer that this past Christmas will continue to work throughout the year, powerfully drawing our hearts to Jesus Christ Our Lord: Amen.

 


By Request, ‘I Wonder as I Wander’

“Thewhiterabbit” asked for this–and why not? I Wonder as I Wander, performed by the Cambridge Singers. Really quite beautiful.

Remember, everybody, we take hymn requests. So if there’s a hymn you’d like to see posted on this blog, just let us know.


By Request, ‘Glorious’

Susan didn’t believe me when I said I was done posting Christmas songs–oh, well, I’m afraid nobody believes me. She asked for this one, so here it is: Glorious, by For King and Country. I just can’t say no to hymn requests.


‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’

Well, they’ve taken down the Creche across the street, so I guess that means Christmas is over. It makes me a little sad to see it go; but if it didn’t, then we’d take it for granted and it would have no impact.

Even so, one more Christmas hymn–Angels from the Realms of Glory, sung by the King’s College Choir, at Cambridge.


‘Personent Hodie’ (Old, Old Christmas Carol)

I didn’t know what this was going to be, but then I heard the first few bars and realized that we have this carol in English as On This Day Earth Shall Win. The creche is still up, across the street, and I’m still posting Christmas music.

Personent Hodie was published in Finland in 1582, but the melody is found in a German hymnal from 1360. Joan of Arc, Henry V, Richard II haven’t been born yet. But Jesus Christ has.

Performed the old-fashioned way by Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band.


Encore, ‘Good Christian Men, Rejoice’

The creche is still there, across the street, so I’m still doing Christmas music and still taking requests.

Good Christian Men, Rejoice, sung by the Robert Shaw Chorale–after years of hearing this as background music, I’m so glad to finally know the title and the lyrics that go with the melody. Jesus Christ is come in the flesh!


‘Gaudete’ Means ‘Rejoice!’

“Thewhiterabbit” has been asking for more Christmas music, and as I was reading his message, Patty discovered this medieval carol on youtube–Gaudete, performed by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, complete with medieval drum.

This is one mighty rousing Christmas carol. Turn up the volume and see if you can stay in your chair.


Encore, ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’

They’ve still got the creche up, across the street at St. Francis’, so why not? Gloria in Excelsis Deo, composed by Saint-Saens, sung by the Libera Boys Choir–yeah, let’s turn it up. Let’s revel in it. “Glory to the most high God!”

Do you find you can understand the Latin lyrics when they’re displayed along with the music? I find it so. And I never studied Latin.


Encore, by Request: ‘We Three Kings’

“Thewhiterabbit” has reminded us that today is Epiphany, the 12th Day of Christmas: and what could be more suitable to the occasion than We Three Kings?

Actually, the Bible (in Matthew Chapter 2) never calls them kings, but only “wise men from the East.” Then again, they bring gifts fit for a king, and not easily obtainable on a wise man’s salary–gold and frankincense, and myrrh. So maybe the tradition’s not far off the mark.

I love this rendition of the carol by Hugh Jackman, David Hodson, and Peter Cousen, from a Christmas special on Australian TV. They put their hearts into it, and it’s heartening to know that some of our entertainers, at least, love to praise the Lord Our God.


By Request, ‘The Boar’s Head Carol’

Phoebe has requested The Boar’s Head Carol, sung by the Robert Shaw Chorale. This English Christmas carol goes back at least to the 15th century and very probably earlier. It early became associated with St. Stephen’s Day, Dec. 26.


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