Once in Royal David’s City

For the twelfth text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… Our final text for Christmas was written by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848. The rich lyrics first imagine the nativity scene, then remind us that we should imitate Christ as he took on our flesh and lived among us. The text ends with anContinue reading “Once in Royal David’s City”

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

For the eleventh text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… There is an incredible mystery and power in the incarnation. The deeply theological lyrics to this carol convey a sense of the reverence and awe, like what the shepherds gave the newborn babe in Bethlehem. Christ, a person of the Trinity, ruler of heaven, creator ofContinue reading “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”

Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

For the tenth text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… This Polish carol, translated in the early twentieth century, is a reflection on the humble birth of Jesus. It repeats its simple gospel message at the end of each verse: Jesus the Lord came to Earth for you! Infant holy, infant lowly,for his bedContinue reading “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly”

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

For the ninth text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… A deservedly well-known classic, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is rich with Advent theology. The first verse paraphrases Luke 2:14 and imagines the night sky the shepherds beheld. The second verse sings of the divine nature of Christ. The third verse triumphantly praises JesusContinue reading “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

For the eighth text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… A garden reference more familiar than the apple tree from our third text, this poem using a flowering rose to symbolize Christ’s birth was originally a German poem from the sixteenth century. Michael Praetorius wrote his beautiful setting in 1609, though the famous EnglishContinue reading “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

For the fifth text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… A similar though cheerier anticipatory text than Day 2, this hymn was written by the great Charles Wesley. Every line contains rich Scriptural illusions. The first verse shows our longing and need for the presence of Jesus. In the last verse, Wesley references theContinue reading “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”

The First Noel, and a second

For the fourth text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… The First Noel is rightfully one of the most iconic Advent hymns we have today. It is a summary of the Christmas narrative collected from Luke 2 and Matthew 2. “Noel” is the English derivation of the French word for Christmas, Noël. The poemContinue reading “The First Noel, and a second”

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

For the third text of Christmas, this blogger gives to thee… A musical tradition Christians adopted for Christmas is wassailing. Wassailing comes from an old Saxon phrase for “be of good health.” It’s often a New-Year’s toast where people use it today, frequently accompanied by warm cider. There were two types of wassailing. The firstContinue reading “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree”