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Notes on the Notes – December 13, 2020

Third Sunday of Advent

Joy in the Wilderness

This week’s music:

“We Light This Candle”

“We light this candle for Joy.
Await the new life within.
May our hearts now live each day,
So Joy can find a way,
So Joy can find a way.”

Our Advent candle-lighting song was written by Pat Mayberry (2016) and arranged by David Kai (2016).

“Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” (VU #35)

“Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Give ye heed to what we say:  News!  News!

Jesus Christ is born today.
Ox and ass before him bow, and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!  Christ is born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!
He hath opened heaven’s door, and we are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all to gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!”

This hymn was translated by John Mason Neale from a 14th-century carol, written in German and Latin, and was included in his Carols for Christmas-tide (1853).  The text has been revised to make it more inclusive and thus more useable in contemporary worship, although the original translation remains more popular outside of the church.

Hear the Wissman Family:

Hear an upbeat version on piano and fiddle at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBL4ZACPyEE

Hear a Celtic band play the tune at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=69DGHaSbixs

“Advent Prayer Song”

“Breathe into this moment of joy with courage to let go,
Daring to dream.
For the days are surely coming when we’ll rise –
Strong together once again in joy.”

Our Advent prayer response was written by Nancy Chegus (2015).

“Jesus Came Bringing Us Joy” (MV #33)

“Jesus came bringing us joy,
Jesus came bringing us joy,
Jesus came bringing us joy,
Hallelujah, forever more!”

The words and music for this song come from a traditional Cameroon song. It was arranged for inclusion in More Voices in 2007.

“God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”

“God rest you merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay.
Remember Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

From God, our heavenly Father, a blessed angel came;
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Now to the Lord sing praises, all you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface:

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort, comfort and joy!

This week’s anthem is an arrangement of the traditional carol by Philip Kern (1986).  The carol is one of the oldest surviving carols, dated to the 16th century or earlier.  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase “God rest you merry” means “may God grant you peace and happiness.”

Hear the carol sung at:  https://www.yout-ube.com/watch?v=FlfHyb397VY

“O Little Town of Bethlehem” (VU #64)

“O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary; and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth.

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts the blessed gift of heaven.
No ear may hear his coming; but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.

O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in; be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.”

The text for “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was written by Phillips Brooks (1835–1893), an Episcopal priest, Rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia. He was inspired by visiting the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in 1865. Three years later, he wrote the poem for his church and his organist, Lewis Redner, added the music. Redner’s tune, simply titled ST. LOUIS, is the tune used most often for this carol in the United States and Canada, but it may also be sung to the tune FOREST GREEN instead.

See Sarah McLachlan sing this carol at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyPMDD8fGeA

Sing along at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpHY3jU27dc

Categories: Notes on the Notes