Friday, January 06, 2017

Epiphany: In the Bleak Midwinter

 I started out late Thursday with the best of intentions --- to wait until dusk and then go over to Sacred Heart Church and mark the eve of Epiphany by taking a photo of the lighted exterior creche, which is quite lovely.

Then I got home thoroughly chilled after running a few errands and it occurred to me that I had these photos to use instead --- I'm a fair-weather photographer and it was darned cold. 

So here they are, taken during Christmastide 2014, two years ago.

It's a pet peeve of mine, regarding Christmas, that we turn off all the bright lights and pack away the sparkle just when we need them most, during bleak January.

"In the Bleak Midwinter" is not exactly an Epiphany carol, but the lyrics are lovely and appropriate for winter in Iowa, or anywhere else in the frozen northland. And the final verse has an Epiphany theme.

The words are based upon a poem by Christina Rossetti and the setting is by Gustav Holst. Here are the words, in case you'd like to follow along:

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 mid-winter
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.

No comments: