“These are a few .. . “

Source: miscarriagaeassociation.org.uk

“These are a few of my favourite Christmas carols

         … and then I don’t feel so sad”.

You know the seasons of Advent and Christmas are coming when the shopping malls begin playing Bing Crosby’s version of “White Christmas”. Since these seasons are a time of great shopping, some stores have begun playing Christmas music in October.

Perhaps, like me, you become so sick of shopping mall Christmas music that you wish Christmas would be over…. a feeling similar to the end of the official 60 days of Canadian electioneering. Becoming informed may justify electioneering, but do we become better Christians, or better consumers because of Christmas shopping mall music?

Perhaps the advice of “taking a news break” can be adapted to “taking a commercial Christmas break”. Such a double break might allow for space in my life to reflect and listen to the music of a more personal, more spiritual Christmas.

I love hauling out my own CD collection of Advent and Christmas carols. And since I control the choice of music and the amount of time listening, I can savour the words/music and spirit of the Holy seasons.

For example, there is the haunting beauty of the traditional Irish “Wexford Carol”, translated into English in the 12 the century:

     “Good people all, this Christmas time,

          Consider well and bear in mind

         What our good God for us has done

         In sending his beloved son.

         With Mary holy we should pray

         To God with love this Christmas day.

         In Bethlehem upon that morn

         There was a blessed Messiah born.”

Depending on your mood and choice of music you may listen to Harry Belafonte sing “Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day”, or the deep voice of indigenous Tom Jackson singing “the Huron Carol”.

To let your imagination focus on the great gift we receive on Christmas, listen to the child like carol,  “the Little Drummer Boy”, a traditional Czech song recorded in 1951 by the Austrian Trapp Family Singers as the “Carol of the Drum”.

There is a great wealth of spiritual Advent and Christmas carols. In 1976 Johnny Mathis recorded the gentle carol “When a Child is Born”. May its gentle words and tune be an example of music that lifts your spirit and gives you hope for this and every Christmas.

           “A ray of hope flickers in the sky.

           A tiny star lights up way up high.

           All across the land dawns a brand new morn.

           This comes to pass when a child is born.

           … a child will grow up and turn tears to laughter,

             hate to love, war to peace, and everyone to                

            everyone’s neighbour.

             And misery and suffering will be words to be            

            forgotten forever.”  

Richard Grover is a retired history and religion teacher from St. Paul's High School in Winnipeg.

  • J.Y.C.
    Posted at 03:17h, 27 December Reply

    Or the uplifting and magnificent Handel’s ‘Messiah’. It tells the story of Our Lord Jesus Christ from his birth to death to Resurrection in entirety … wonderful to listen to at this time of the season.

  • Peter Bisson SJ
    Posted at 10:37h, 27 December Reply

    Thank you Richard!

  • Larry Martell
    Posted at 17:38h, 27 December Reply

    Well said Richard.

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