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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Our Lady of Early December

I was in Durham last weekend, and got to sing in Britten's Ceremony of Carols as part of Blacknall's Evening of Lesson and Carols. Wow!

First, there's the amazing rush of excitement of a homecoming & seeing so many folks I've known and loved in NC for so many years. Then there was the amazing musicianship of the choir, strings and harp, mixed with the readings (scripture is so moving when read aloud) and finally the response of the congregation. (I could hear four-part harmony coming from the congregation, as well as hearing 6-8 parts in the choir.)

All taken together, by 2/3rd's of the way through the Lessons & Carols, it had become a true worship service--absolutely NOT just a recital of pretty music. Deo gratias!

I'm so grateful for all that's happened since we moved, but I really miss NC (esp. Blacknall and Herr Stuntz's choir.)

Regarding "Our Lady"--Britten's Ceremony of Carols uses old (mostly pre-reformation) hymns and carols. The words of a couple of them were great to reflect on as I anticipated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception this week.

There is No Rose

There is no rose of such vertu/ As is the rose that bare Jesu.
For in this rose conteined was Heaven and eart in litel space,
By that rose we may well see There be one God in persons three,
Pares forma.
The aungels sungen the sheperds to: Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Leave we all this werldly mirth, and follow we this joyful birth.
Transeamus. Alleluia, Resmiranda, Pares forma, Gaudeamus, Transeamus.

As dew in Aprille

I sing of a maiden That is makeles:
King of all kings To her son she ches.
He came al so stille There his moder was,
As dew in Aprille That falleth on the grass.
He came al so stille There his moder's bour,
As dew in Aprille That falleth on the flour.
He came al so stille There his moder lay,
As dew in Aprille That falleth on the spray.
Moder and mayden wasnever none but she: Well may such a lady Goddes moder be.

Deo Gratias (or Adam lay ibounden)

Deo Gratias!
Adam lay ibounden, bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter thought he not to long.
Deo Gratias!
And all was for an appil, an appil that he took
As clerkes finden written in their booke
Deo Gratias!
Ne had the appil takè ben, The appil takè ben;
Ne haddè never our lady A ben hevenè quene.
Blessèd be the time That appil takè was.
Therefore we moun singen.
Deo Gratias!

Singing in a presby church about the the "rose of such vertu", the "moder and mayden" knowing that there "wasnever none but she" and sharing the ecstacy of the medieval writer who rejoiced in the eating of the "appil" that lead to the coronation of Our Lady as "quene of hevenè." How cool is that!?!

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