Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I sing of a night in Bethlehem

We had a wonderful Advent Festival of Lessons & Carols on Sunday evening. Many kudos to Associate Rector Nik Forti and Music Director Daniel Hine for the brilliance of this service. They took a traditional format and added poems and music that gave us depth and set this service apart from any other I've ever experienced. Our readers were eloquent, and our musicians sparkled.

Among the many high points was a poem read by Gillian Breckenridge to a musical accompaniment from a harp played by Margaret Lee. They warmed the cockles of my soul. Here is the poem:
Don Oíche Úd I MBeithil

I sing of a night in Bethlehem
A night as bright as dawn
I sing of that night in Bethlehem
The night the Word was born

The skies are glowing gaily
The earth in white is dressed
See Jesus in the cradle
Drink deep in His mother's breast

And there on a lonely hillside
The shepherds bow down in fear
When the heavens open brightly
And God's message rings out so clear

Glory now to the Father
In all the heavens high
And peace to His friends on earth below
Is all the angels cry

(Translated by Seán MacRéamoinn)
Painting by Kathrin Burleson.

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