So, this crazy idea of sending a weekly Musical Message began Easter Week in March. I don’t think any of us would have imagined we would still be dealing with this pandemic on the first Sunday in Advent. But we are. (Silent scream!).
There is so much beautiful Christmas/Holiday music that we only get to enjoy for 4-6 weeks each year. So until the 12 days of Christmas end, we will be sending a carol each Saturday. There is only one advent hymn that I am fond of and that is O Come, O Come. Emmanuel.
This melody is really, really old….from the 800s, Medieval times. In 1851 John Neale wove together segments of melody and added words. I think he did an excellent job!
To paraphrase for today….O come desire of nations, bind, all people’s in one here and mind.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight. Rejoice! Rejoice!
With the most unusual Thanksgiving in my lifetime happening this next week, I want to give to you my favorite “Thanksgiving hymn.” We Gather Together to Ask the Lord’s Blessing. Although times are tough worldwide, we have an amazing amount of blessings in our lives. And we are thankful.
Now the history of the hymn…not at all what you think it might be! We Gather Together is a Dutch hymn from 1597. The Dutch were at war with Spain. The Spanish Catholic King Phillip II banned Protestant church services so the Protestants rebelled by “gathering together” in their homes. When the Dutch Reformed Church came to America “We Gather Together” was chosen as the first hymn in their new hymnal. Look up the words. They definitely do not fit our holiday!
But to me, it is still my Thanksgiving hymn. Blessings to all of you!