Keeping Advent, day fifteen

Given the numbingly cold weather we've been having here in Chicagoland, a post on "In the Bleak Midwinter" seemed appropriate. I was introduced to this Christmas text and its various tunes fairly early in my childhood, before I was at all able to appreciate or understand it. But it is lovely poetry, a lovely image of the grace of God who asks nothing of us but our hearts, and a lovely way of thinking about the child whom heaven cannot hold and earth can not sustain, but who will instead reign over them both.

I hope that you enjoy this recording - I am new to Tine Thing Helseth, but am quickly taken with her musicianship. I would encourage you to look up more of her work!

"In the bleak midwinter" by Christina Rossetti

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign;
In the bleak midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day
A breast full of milk
And a manger full of hay.
Enough for him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But his mother only,
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him —
Give my heart.

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