Friday, January 4, 2013
In the Bleak Midwinter
Last Sunday Clint wanted to leave a little earlier for church. We like to be there early, sit and relax for a few minutes and read the bulletin. We were "proud" of ourselves when we pulled into the parking lot, Clint remarking, "We are the first ones here".
We truly were the first ones there and the only ones there! About ten minutes before the service was to start, Clint asked me, "Is this Sunday?" We have been messed up this year with our different holiday traditions and have been confused about some of the days. (Maybe "daze " is a better word.)
I reminded Clint it was Sunday because we had watched Charles Stanley before we left for church and Charles is always on Sunday mornings.
When Clint asked me about the day, I was spell bound reading the bulletin about a hymn that was to be sung that morning written by Christina Rossetti.
"In the Bleak Midwinter" is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner's Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti's Poetic Works in 1904.
The poem became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Gustav Holst.
Harold Darke's anthem setting of 1909 is more complex and was named the best Christmas carol in a poll of some of the world's leading choirmasters and choral experts in 2008.
Rosetti using "poetic and artistic" liberty in the poem, places Christ's birth in the bleak and cold winter of England.
My anticipation on hearing the carol waned when I also read in the bulletin that there was to be only an 11 a.m. service on this particular Sunday and here we are sitting there for the usual 8:30 a.m. service. In our church newsletter, it clearly had stated the different schedule that Sunday. We had failed to read the newsletter since we were in Gatlinburg for Christmas.
We came on home and later in the morning I was able to hear the beautiful "In the Bleak Midwinter".