William F. Jasper
December 26, 2013
God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember, Christ, our Savior, was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.
Yes, it is easy to forget, in our hyper-commercialized, secularized, paganized world, that the real basis for our celebration of “Happy Holidays” is two Christian “Holy Days”: Christmas (December 25, the Nativity of Jesus Christ, the Lord) and Epiphany (the “Revelation of Christ to the Gentiles,” characterized by the worship of the Magi, or Wise Men, celebrated either on January 1, or, more traditionally, January 6).
“Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” and similar traditional secular fare may be fine, fun winter songs, but we should not allow them to displace “the real Reason for the season.” Of course, many of the popular “holiday” songs are not merely innocent paeans to hearth, home, and the wonders of nature, but celebrations of the opportunity for revelry and debauchery, the complete antithesis of the Christmas message.
In our deeply troubled world, where there seems abundant cause for dismay, we can indeed take comfort and joy from the knowledge that “Christ, our Savior, was born on Christmas Day, to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.”
Many beautiful renditions of “God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen” have been recorded and can be viewed and heard on YouTube: The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge; Nat King Cole; Roger Whittaker, the British-Kenyan baritone singer-songwriter-whistler; Libera, an angelic boys choir from St. Paul’s parish in London; and Bing Crosby, to name but a very few.
This article was posted: Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 5:35 am