Monday, December 03, 2012
Following the Star, Dec. 2
As I prepared for worship and anticipated hearing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel to open the Advent season, I kept hearing other carols and remembering when I first heard them.
Partly because my first decade or so of life was not steeped in the Christian Tradition, my exposure to Christmas carols was secular. The richness of that experience is that, for many carols, I recall when I first heard them, when my heart or soul was first touched by their beauty.
This morning, that is where I imagined this day's reflection on Christmas memories would take me.
I thought of God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman and how I first heard it around a grand piano in the home of a Girl Scout leader as we practiced before caroling. Even at the age of nine, I was taken in by the hope held within the melancholy melody.
I thought, too, of Little Drummer Boy and how I had never heard of it until age 10, when our Unitarian-Universalist fellowship decided to put on a Christmas worship -- which was radical for that fellowship at the time.
Tonight, however, I added two new carols to my experience of firsts. And they eclipsed the old memories.
I heard a beautiful advent carol called High O'er the Lonely Hills, with words by Jan Struther. And, I heard a stirring arrangement of the Appalachian carol Beautiful Star of Bethlehem by composer Shawn Kirchner.
These carols were among the many gifts that came in a free Community Concert offered to Mission Hills UMC by Sacra/Profana, an amazing professional chorale group that rehearses in our sanctuary.
And now I have new carols from Christmas present to flood my future memories.
Posted by karen at 12:04 AM