Tuesday, December 10, 2013

god rest ye merry gentlemen

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the music.  I begin listening to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving (sometimes sooner), and don't stop until the 25th.  There's nothing like a cheerful holiday jingle to get you feeling all warm and Christmas-y inside.  To me, Christmas season = Christmas music season.

That being said, this season is also the Advent Season.  It's in these few weeks leading up to Christmas that we, as Christians, expentantly wait and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ.  It's a time when we reflect on the long-awaited arrival of the Messiah two thousand years ago - when God became flesh and dwelt among us, and when His plan to save the world was set into motion. 

So this month, I hope to use this little blog as a space to celebrate Advent through the beauty of those Christmas Carols we all know by heart... starting with one of my (recent) favorites.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is a traditional old English carol reputed to date back to the 15th century. It was first published in "Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern" in 1833. It is believed that this carol was sung to the gentry by town watchmen who earned additional money during the Christmas season. 

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (abridged)
God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Savior
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.
 
"Fear not then," said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Savior
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."
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 other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

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