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Notes on the Notes – December 23, 2018

Advent 4

This week’s theme:

Loving the unlovable”

This week’s scripture readings:

Micah 5:2-5a   Luke 1:47-55

This week’s music:

“See, Amid the Winter’s Snow” (VU #76)

“See amid the winter’s snow, born for us on earth below,
See, the tender Lamb appears, promised fromwinter-view-sunrise-peaceful-beautiful-lovely-tree-splendor-lake-clouds-houses-time-water-trees-frozen-river-nature-beauty-sunset-landscape-cold-mountain-desktop-backgrounds eternal years.

Hail, thou ever-blessed morn;
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn;
Sing through all Jerusalem,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Lo, within a manger lies God who built the starry skies,
Who enthroned in height sublime sits amid the cherubim.


Say, ye holy shepherds, say what your joyful news today;
Wherefore have ye left you sheep on the lonely mountain steep?


“See, amid the Winter’s Snow”, also known as “Hymn for Christmas Day” and “The Hymn for Christmas”, is an English Christmas carol. It was written by Edward Caswall (1814–1878), with music composed by Sir John Goss (1800–1880).  It was published in 1871.  Caswall wrote “See, amid the Winter’s Snow” shortly after leaving the Church of England and joining the Catholic Oxford Movement and the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri.  It was selected to be included in “Christmas Carols Old and New” as one of the carols that had “proved their hold upon the popular mind”.

See a choral arrangement of the carol at: https://youtu.be/Iq7DmpEMZR8

Hear the Cambridge Choir of King’s College at:  https://youtu.be/fPgo-UfyJgc

“O Come, All Ye Faithful” (VU #60)

The original four verses of “O Come All Ye Faithful” were discovered in an eighteenth century Jacobean manuscript with John Francis Wade’s signature.  At one time historians believed that Wade had simply discovered an ancient hymn by an unknown author, possibly St. Bonaventura, a thirteenth century Italian scholar.  Further examination, however, has led many to believe that Wade wrote both the words and music of this hymn himself.  The lyrics are a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.O come all ye faithful

God of God, light of light,
Lo, he abhors not the virgin’s womb;
Very God, begotten, not created:
O come…

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;
Glory to God in the highest;
O come…

See how the shepherds summoned to his cradle,
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh with lowly fear;
We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps,
O come…

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing:
O come…”

Watch a beautiful Christmas video by Brigham Young University Vocal Point and BYU Noteworth:

See Pentatonix’s interpretation of the carol at:  https://youtu.be/Mj7Pr42rliI

See the carol in worship at Westminster Abbey:  https://youtu.be/l1wHyMR_SCA

Hear Frank Sinatra sing the carol at:  https://youtu.be/NczzSYC-s10

“Give us Love”

“Give us love in the world, we are hurting,
Give us love for ourselves, we pray,
Give us love flowing out towards all others,
Give us love in our lives today.

Light a candle, light a candle,
Light a candle while we wait and pray.
Light a candle, light a candle,
Light a candle of God’s love.”

This week we light the fourth candle in the Advent wreath as we sing about our longing to live in God’s love.

“Angels from the Realms of Glory” (VU #36)

“Angels, from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story, now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.


Angels Singing Glory to God – Karen Jordan

Shepherds in the field abiding, watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing, yonder shines the infant Light:
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.

Sages, leave your contemplations; brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great desire of nations; ye have seen his natal star:
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.

Saints before the altar bending, watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending, in his temple shall appear:
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.”

‘Angels From the Realms of Glory’ began as a poem rather than a song. Lyricist James Montgomery said he felt inspired to write the words to it quickly on December 24, 1816 after reading the Bible’s account of the first Christmas. The words flowed easily as Montgomery reflected on the angels’ announcement of Jesus Christ’s birth. That evening (Christmas Eve), he published the words as a poem in the newspaper he owned in London, England, The Sheffield Iris.

Much later, in 1867, composer and organist Henry Smart set Montgomery’s words to music that he had previously written for a song he called ‘REGENT SQUARE’ (named after Regent Square Presbyterian Church in London, England) and named the new song ‘Angels From the Realms of Glory’.

See the song played on Pipe Organ at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTrJONTyGJc

Hear Paul Baloche sing the carol at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjyvuf4ZFcY

“Gloria in Excelsis Deo”

“Gloria in excelsis, sing Gloria in excelsis Deo;
Gloria in excelsis, sing Gloria from on high.

The praises ring; a song fills the sky.
With voices sing, rejoice, glorify.

Declare this day the joy to all men.
Then sound the praise; let hope now begin.”

This anthem by Dave and Jean Perry(1985) brings to mind the song of the angels on Christmas Eve. The phrase “Gloria in excelsis Deo” is Latin for “Glory to God in the highest.”

“Born in Bethlehem”

“Glory to God in the highest!
Born in Bethlehem.

See the little baby lying in a manger,
Born in Bethlehem.

Shepherds and wise men bow down before him
Born in Bethlehem.

Angels singing “Glory in the highest!”
Born in Bethlehem.

Glory! Glory in the highest!
Born in Bethlehem!”

This anthem by Jay Edwards (1994) is a joyful retelling of the Christmas story.

“Joy to the World” (VU #59)

“Joy to the world!  the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! the Saviour reigns;
Let all their songs employ,
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy.Joy to the world 2

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the earth with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness
And wonders of his love.”

The text for this carol is a paraphrase of Psalm 88:4-9.  It was written by Isaac Watts and first published in his Psalms of David in 1719.

Learn more about the history of the carol at:  https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-joy-to-the-world

Enjoy this carol by:

George Fox University Music department:   https://youtu.be/6oOwa0CWVVQ

Boys’ choir “Libera” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IH8A86FLs0

To Ponder:

Who do we overlook as messengers of God’s good news, considering them to be insignificant or unworthy?

Please join us at 7:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve for our service of Candlelight, Carols and Communion.

Merry Christmas

Categories: Notes on the Notes
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