In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
Words: Christina Rossetti, 1872; she wrote these words in response to a request from the magazine Scribner’s Monthly for a Christmas poem.
Music: Gustav Holst, 1874-1934
This is the time of year that we do a lot of waiting. We wait in traffic. We wait in checkout lines to purchase gifts. We wait for family to arrive. We wait to gather around a table filled with our favorite foods. We wait to open presents lovingly chosen.
It seems that waiting is one of the hardest things to do so maybe as we wait in lines or traffic, we could hum or sing a few carols this year. For me music is calming and it makes me feel happier too.
All of this waiting can be a reminder to us that this Advent season is a celebration of waiting for something much more important than holiday traditions.
Don’t let your winter be a bleak one.