Introduction and Welcome

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Celebrating the Birth of Christ

I'd like to take a break from our usual progression of featured artist, composer and poet to focus on art music and poetry for the holiday season.  This is only a brief sampling of all the beautiful things there are to enjoy.  May your celebration of the birth of Christ be meaningful and joyous.
Adoration of the Shepherds - van Honthorst
The following link will bring you to Google Images for the Adoration of the Shepherds Google Images - Adoration of the Shepherds There are many famous paintings of the birth of Christ.  You might also look on Google Images for "Birth of Christ" or "Adoration of the Magi".

A Reading of the Christmas Story from the book of Matthew here

Handel's Messiah - For Unto Us A Son is Born Choir and Orchestra here.  If you have lots of time you may want to listen to Handel's Messiah performed in its entirety - here.

Bach's Christmas Oratorio is here.  It isn't in English but it has English subtitles for the words.

Following are some favorite Christmas songs you might also enjoy.
   Silent Night
   Mendelssohn: Hark the Herald Angels Sing
   Classical Christmas Medley
   It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
   Away in a Manger

Two poems we have featured in the past at Christmas time by my favorite poet Amy Carmichael follow:

When the morning stars sang together, and all
The sons of God shouted for joy,
He was there--who was laid in a manger made
For little calves of the stall:
  The King, the King of Eternity,
  Laid His glory by for thee and for me.

Who hung the round world upon nothing--He lay
A babe on His mother's lap.
Who made of the clouds swaddling bands for the sea,
Her gentle hands did Him wrap:
  The king, the King of Eternity,
  Laid His glory by for thee and for me.

Oh, well may we love our kingly Lord,
Oh, well may we love our King
Who for love of us all became weak and small
As any baby thing.
  The King, the King of Eternity,
  Laid His glory by for thee 


Once a star rose in the sky,
Silver star of mystery,
But the wise men, pondering, knew
What it said that they must do.

So, in that first Christmastide,
On their camels they did ride--
Rode to far Jerusalem,
Rode to farther Bethlehem;

Found the little, precious child,
On the ground before Him piled
Gold and frankincense and myrrh;
Hailed Him Royal Conqueror.

Once again, led by a Star.
Do we come from near and far,
Drawn by Love's beloved cords,
Hail our Savior, Lord of lords.

And as holy Seraphim
Veil their faces, worship Him,
Pray we now this Christmas grace--
Reverence as we seek His Face.

 and a beautiful poem by Christina Rosetti

A Christmas Carol

by Christina Rossetti

In the bleak mid-winter
   Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
   Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
   Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter 
   Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
   Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
   When He comes to reign:
In the bleak midwinter
   A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
   Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
   Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
   And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
   Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
   Which adore.

Angels and archangels
   May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
   Thronged the air;
But only His mother
   In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
   With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
   Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
   I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
   I would do my part,—
Yet what I can I give Him,
   Give my heart.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Patti! Thanks for posting this - some great ideas. We listen to Handel's Messiah too, and I've copied out your poems to read to my kids this Christmas - lovely!