Sacred Music Friday: Joy to the World

Christmas blessings and joy!


the great Christmas tree caper

Terry and I decided to get a Christmas tree this year. We have not had one for the past two years due to my layoff and our desire to be careful with finances. This year, however, given the election results, we needed the comfort, and with the small windfall from my internet domain sale we decided we could afford one.

Christmas TreeSo off we went to a Christmas tree farm that my brother had recommended. We got plenty of exercise. The first select and cut area had only trees bigger than we wanted. We found that there was another select and cut area with trees closer to the size we wanted. We looked, we saw, we found, we bought.

This was on Friday. We brought the tree home and put it in the stand I had bought at Target. It would not stay stable. It kept tipping over. I went off to Target for a larger stand, only to find that they were completely wiped out in that section.

We stabilized the tree for overnight and decided to return to the effort on Saturday. We realized that we had made two mistakes. First, in our effort to make the tree look straight at the top, we did not situate it properly in the base. Second, we had too much trunk beneath the branches making the tree unstable. On Saturday we cut four or five inches off the trunk and made sure the tree was solid and secure in its base.

We began decorating the tree. We had some problems with our Hallmark Star Trek ornaments plugging into the light strings. We’ve had them for many years and the contacts can get out of whack. But we fixed that for the most part and now we have a beautiful, marvelous Christmas tree, our first since we’ve moved south.

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Happy Christmas!

Joy to the World!


Christmas Eve

Christmas Blessings to all.


Song of Simeon

Yesterday was the first Sunday after Christmas. Christmas 1 is one of the few times in the course of the year, perhaps the only time, in the Episcopal Church when the Gospel reading varies from the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). The Episcopal Church reads the prologue to John all three years. In Year A, the year of Matthew, the RCL reading is the story of the flight into Egypt. In year C, the year of Luke, the reading is the story of the boy Jesus at the temple. This year, Year B, the year of Mark, the reading is the Song of Simeon and the story of Anna. I love that passage. It is about two elderly people, one a man and the other a woman, who have spent their lives in the service of God. They are rewarded by seeing the Messiah as an infant. The passage always brings a tear to my eye.

Simeon’s words are well known:

quoteMaster, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.

The Song of Simeon has been put to music many times, in some beautiful settings. Please enjoy one of them.


Happy Christmas!

Christmas joy to you and yours!


holiday wishes

This showed up on Facebook a while back courtesy of my friend Annalee. I thought it appropriate today with the beginning of Hanukkah.

The original had some text at the bottom which I think detracted from the message. The diagram delivers the complete message on its own.

Click on the image for the full-size version.

And scroll down beneath the diagram for Peter, Paul and Mary’s marvelous “Light One Candle.”

HolidayWishes