Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 14

Madonna and Child c. 1340-45, by Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

A Hymn to the Virgin
Anonymous, c. 1300, with music by Benjamin Britten
performed by Polyphony

Of on that is so fayr and bright
Velut maris stella,
Brighter than the day is light,
Parens et puella:
Ic crie to the, thou see to me,
Levedy, preye thi Sone for me,
Tam pia,
That ic mote come to thee

Al this world was for-lore
Eva peccatrice,
Tyl our Lord was y-bore
De te genetrice.
With ave it went away
Thuster nyth and comz the day
The welle springeth ut of the,

Levedy, flour of alle thing,
Rose sine spina,
Thu bere Jhesu, hevene king,
Gratia divina:
Of alle thu ber'st the pris,
Levedy, quene of paradys
Mayde milde, moder es

Recently, I have been very fortunate to have been contacted by a lovely lady who has been reading my blog, and listening to the Christmas carols. We have been corresponding for the past several days, and I have been so delighted by her writing, her warmth and good counsel.

Yesterday, she wrote something that struck a deep chord in me... We had been discussing motherhood, and the challenges we both face. She said that she had suddenly realized that as women,"WE create Christmas. Even in tough times. It's up to us."

She is so right. It is up to us. That is how Christmas began, after all. With a new mother, just doing the very best she could, in the circumstances she found herself under. Trying to be a good woman, against all odds. Just like all of us.

Hence, the choice of carol today, the "Hymn to the Virgin". A beautiful, thirteenth-century verse, dedicated to an extraordinary woman, devoted wife and loving mother, who did the very best she could, for her child, and for her family, on that first Christmas Night.


Nan said...

What a lovely sentiment: We women create Christmas. It's absolutely true.

merinz said...

Yes it is true! I have often thought this, I know that there would be no Christmas in my house if it was up to my husband to do the baking, arrange the tree, send the cards, plan the Christmas Dinner menu etc etc!

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