Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Deck the Halls

'Deck the Halls' is one of my favorite Christmas carols musically... singing the 'Fa la la la la, la la la la' is just so satisfying. And I do love decking the halls with boughs of holly. Or at least decking our mobile home with cookies and a plastic tree and lots of twinkly lights.

But it's such an empty song. These past few years it seems like it's entirely too appropriate for my feelings about Christmas: it's all about the lights, about the gifts, about the cookies and the songs.

Not that I'm opposed to lights and gifts and songs, of course... in their proper place. Like cookies and fudge, these things should be secondary; I shouldn't be filling my mind with the 'empty calories' of decorating and wrapping and buying and baking... and having no room for contemplation and worship like Anna and Simeon... no room for 'pondering in my heart' like Mary.

Last year as part of my contemplation, I rewrote the words of the carol to be a hymn. I gave it to a few friends of mine. This year it ended up in the hands of the music committee at church, and our church is going to sing it this Sunday. So I thought I'd pass it along to everyone in Blogland. You're welcome to copy it, use it, and share it as you wish, so long as you don't make a profit off of it (see Creative Commons license below.)

Deck the Halls (rewritten)

Angels, bring the joyful tiding
          of Immanuel, hallelujah!
God with man is now abiding:
          our Immanuel, hallelujah!
Unto you is born a Savior:
          Glory be
          unto God,
          peace on earth!
Peace to all who find God's favor
          through Immanuel, hallelujah!

Shepherds, leave your ninety-nine,
          for Immanuel, hallelujah!
Here's a Lamb that you must find
          our Immanuel, hallelujah!
Wake the city with your praises
          Glory be
          unto God,
          peace on earth!
God's own Lamb has come to save us:
          our Immanuel, hallelujah!

Simeon, your wait is ending
          for Immanuel, hallelujah!
Anna, at the altar bending
          to Immanuel, hallelujah!
Come and find your heart's desire:
          He is born!
          Come and see
          Christ the Lord!
In your arms hold the Messiah:
          The Immanuel, hallelujah!

Sing, ye saints of every nation
          to Immanuel, hallelujah!
We have seen the Lord's salvation
          through Immanuel, hallelujah!
Come and worship Christ the Savior
          Glory be
          unto the
          Lamb of God!
He is crowned the King forever:
          Our Immanuel, hallelujah!

(c)2005 Kelly (Weaving Major),
Creative Commons License
Lyrics above are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

...This year I've had a very hard time being quiet before God or meditating on the Advent of Christ. My mind is full of presents and twinkly lights and to-do lists and musical productions. I'm contemplating making some changes next year. We may not decorate the house. We may not even give presents. But I'm torn. I'm unsure how to preserve the magic and wonder of Christmas for my children, without destroying it for myself.

I have a feeling the answer lies somewhere in simply slowing down, in being still. In being, like Anna and Simeon, continually waiting and worshipping - not just having it on my list of things to do. How to do that as a mother of four little kids? I'm not sure, but I'll keep asking God about it, and keep trying.


Blogger Wool Winder said...

When I'm too busy, I always think of one of my favorite verses--Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10--a reminder to me of what is really important.

Your hymn is beautiful. I especially love the verse, Shepherd, leave your ninety-nine. Here's a Lamb that you must find.

12/08/2005 9:05 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home