One of the least understood Christian days of the year. Chuck provides some insight while having an epiphany of his own.
“Good King Wenceslas” is a popular Christmas carol that tells a story of Good King Wenceslas braving harsh winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (the second day of Christmas, December 26). During the journey, his page is about to give up the struggle against the cold weather, but is enabled to continue by following the king’s footprints, step for step, through the deep snow. The legend is based on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia or Svatý Václav in Czech (907–935).
In 1853, English hymn writer John Mason Neale wrote the “Wenceslas” lyrics, in collaboration with his music editor Thomas Helmore, and the carol first appeared in Carols for Christmas-Tide, 1853. Neales’ lyrics were set to a tune based on a 13th century spring carol “Tempus adest floridum” (“The time is near for flowering”) first published in the 1582 Finnish song collection Piae Cantiones.
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel
“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather
“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my foteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”
In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing
The Mannheim Steamroller version:
Within a humble stable,
The Light of the World was born.
Lying in a manger bed,
No gold or silver adorn.
Hope came to a weary world,
Announced with heavenly light.
Angels proclaimed the Good News
Wearing robes of purest white.
The radiance of a star
Brought kings from a far-off land.
They came to worship Jesus,
As His father, God, had planned.
May beams of grace and mercy
Enlighten our souls with peace.
Through power of the scripture,
Give anxious fears swift release.
Dear Savior, Light of the World,
Our joy is complete in You.
Please help us to be beacons
In things that we say and do.
~~A poem by Saundra Sandrock, long-time Pender Member
Messiah (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.
Part II of the Messiah covers the Passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and the later spreading of the Gospel, concluded by the “Hallelujah Chorus”.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings the classical and beloved Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
And also on Nov. 13 2010 unsuspecting shoppers got a big surprise while enjoying their lunch. Over 100 participants in this awesome Christmas Flash Mob.
At Pender’s Holiday Concert 2022, Adolphe Adam’s “Oh Holy Night” was performed by Corinne Delaney, Soprano and Liz Eunji Moon on piano.
“O Holy Night” (“Cantique de Noël”) is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau (1808–1877).
Cappeau, a wine merchant and poet, had been asked by a parish priest to write a Christmas poem. Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight, editor of Dwight’s Journal of Music, created a singing edition based on Cappeau’s French text in 1855.
O Holy Night sung by Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo