I love Christmas carols.
I love esoteric, uncommon Christmas Carols.
A year ago for WwW, I shared 'Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming.' The third verse. I'm glad I checked, because it's the one I almost shared again.
Earlier in this Yuletide Season, I shared my favorite hymn which happens to be an Advent hymn: 'Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.'
So, I thought I'd share one we sang this week at our lessons and carols: 'Of the Father's Love Begotten.'
One commonality about all of these hymns is their emphasis on how Christ Jesus, the immortal one, outside of time became like you and me: incarnate (in flesh, or in meat), completely human. These songs *revel* in - Wonder at - the incarnation. If we will but Attend! to what is truly happening, we can too.
Another is their haunting melodies.
'Of the Father's Love Begotten'Latin text by Prudentius (b. 348);
Translation by J M Neale, extended by Henry W. Baker (1851/1861).
Of the Father’s love begotten,There is so much I love about this verse.
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore!
The Father's perfect, complete, infinite love begot the Son. Before creation, outside of time, eternally begotten.
He is the Alpha and Omega. The first and the last. The beginning and the end. There is no beginning without Christ; there is no ending without him either.
I love the way the translator phrased the fourth line: "He is the source, the ending He." Such balance, such a beautiful pallindrome of ideas.
He encapsulates all that was and is and is to come just as He has been, is, and will be.
That last bit reminds me of the last verse of Amazing Grace: When we've been there ten thousand years ... we've no last days to sing God's praise than when we first begun.
You really do need to hear 'Of the Father's Love Begotten' if you're unfamiliar.
I wish you a Merry Christmas. Your participation in WwW is a wonderful gift to me.
May you *revel* in the Wonder that is the incarnation.