Friday, December 28, 2007

My Favorite Christmas Sign

"He Was Born Below So That We May Be Borne Above.

From an earlier post. Car wash on Tieton Drive here in Yakima, WA.

The Top Ten

Well my list is complete! Hopefully there may be in the list, a Christmas Carol that's new to you. If that's the case go to and do a search and you'll see that some of the background material I obtained from that site. Thanks for reading and again Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Jim & Sue Gelatt
Yakima, WA

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Another Favorite

"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

Words: Com­bined from var­i­ous an­ti­phons by an un­known au­thor, pos­si­bly in the 12th Cen­tu­ry (Ve­ni, ve­ni Eman­u­el); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale, Med­iae­val Hymns, 1851. Neale’s orig­in­al trans­l­a­tion be­gan, “Draw nigh, draw nigh, Em­man­u­el.”

Music: Veni Em­man­u­el, from a 15th Cen­tu­ry pro­cess­ion­al of French Fran­cis­can nuns (the set­ting for the fu­ner­al hymn Libera me); ar­ranged by Thom­as Hel­more in the Hymn­al Not­ed, Part II (Lon­don: 1856).

The lyrics echo a num­ber of pro­phet­ic themes. The ti­tle comes from the well known Isai­ah 7:14: “Be­hold, a vir­gin shall con­ceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Im­man­u­el.” Im­man­u­el is He­brew for “God with us.” The “Rod of Jesse” refers to Isai­ah 11:1: “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jes­se”; Jesse was the fa­ther of Da­vid, se­cond king of Is­ra­el. “Day-Spring” comes from Za­cha­ri­as, fa­ther of John the Bap­tist, in Luke 1:78: “The day­spring from on high has vis­it­ed us.” “Thou Key of Da­vid” is in Isai­ah 22:22: “The key of the house of Da­vid will I lay up­on his shoul­der,” which in turn re­fers to Isai­ah 9:6 “The gov­ern­ment shall be up­on His shoul­der.”

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Another Top Pick for Christmas

"What Child Is This"

Words: Will­iam C. Dix, The Man­ger Throne, 1865.
Music: Green­sleeves, 16th Cen­tu­ry Eng­lish mel­o­dy.

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Evening Selection

"Hark The Herald Angeles Sing"

Words: Charles Wes­ley, Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems, 1739, alt.

Music: Men­dels­sohn, Fe­lix Men­dels­sohn, in his can­ta­ta Fest­ge­sang an die Künstler, 1840 (second movement, Va­ter­land, in dein­em Gau­en); the can­ta­ta cel­e­brat­ed the 400th an­ni­ver­sa­ry of Jo­hann Gu­ten­berg’s in­ven­tion of the print­ing press.

This ar­range­ment, by Will­iam H. Cum­mings, ap­peared in the Con­gre­ga­tion­al Hymn and Tune Book, by Ri­chard R. Chope, 1857.

Wesley is on the left and Cummings appears on the right.

Merry Christmas to all readers, and a special wish to my wife Sue McAnally-Gelatt and her children Kerri, Kristen, Michael and their family members, my daughter Miriam Elisabeth Wallace and her husband Tim and sons David Cooper and Connor James; my son Jim, Jr and his son Justin David, and my son David and his wife Judy and their sons Adam Curtis and Tyler James.

Bonus Christmas Selection

"Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence"

Words: Li­tur­gy of St. James, 4th Cen­tu­ry (Σιγησάτο παρα σὰρξ βροτεία); trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by Gerard Moultrie, 1864.
Music: Pi­car­dy, French car­ol mel­o­dy; har­mo­ny from The Eng­lish Hymn­al, 1906, num­ber 318.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

This carol may be new to you. The lyrics are powerful and the music is hauntingly beautiful.

Christmas Morning Selection

"Joy To The World"

Words by Issac Watts and musical arrangement by Lowell Mason both prolific hymn writers.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Selection

"Oh Holy Night"
Music by Pla­cide Cap­pea and words by Adolphe C. Adam. This is said to have been the first mu­sic ev­er broad­cast over a ra­dio. This last stanza is so appropiate for this world!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday's Selection

"Silent Night"
This hymn’s his­tory is the source of some dis­agree­ment. The tra­di­tion­al story is that Mohr and Gru­ber wrote it in Obern­dorf, Aus­tria, on Christ­mas Eve when they dis­cov­ered the church or­gan was brok­en (dif­fer­ent ver­sions say it rust­ed out, or mice chewed through vi­tal parts). How­ever, re­cent evi­dence in­di­cates this may be only folk­lore. An old man­u­script has re­port­ed­ly been dis­cov­ered that shows Franz Gruber wrote the score 2-4 years af­ter Mohr wrote the lyr­ics. What­ev­er the truth, this car­ol has been a Christ­mas fav­o­rite for al­most 200 years.
I selected this carol for this Lord's Day as every time I hear or sing this carol I think of our Pastor, Paul Jensen at Mt Vernon Presbyterian Church and his using this hymn every Christmas Eve candlelight service having us sing at least the first verse in German. When I hear this carol I still remember my struggling with the German words, but still so very blessed. Thank you Dr Jensen.

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
Alles schläft, einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar,
Holder Knabe mit lockigem Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Today's Selection

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

The words of this carol were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow pictured on the right. The music is by John B. Calkin who served as or­gan­ist, pre­cent­or and choir­mas­ter at St. Co­lum­ba’s Coll­ege in Ire­land, and at var­i­ous church­es in Lon­don. He was al­so a pro­fess­or at the Guild­hall School of Mu­sic and Croy­don Con­serv­a­to­ry.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another Favorite

"Oh Come All Ye Faithful"

This is one of my top ten Christmas Carols because it's so fun (for a man) to sing. The chorus has such great singing parts for men's voices. Words by John F. Wade 1710-1786. A Ca­tho­lic lay­man, Wade fled the Ja­co­be­an re­bel­lion in 1745, set­tling in Douay, France. He taught mu­sic and co­pied plain chant and hymn man­u­scripts for pri­vate use. The image is the translator Frederick Oakeley 1810-1880.

The music is Ades­te Fi­de­les, at­trib­ut­ed var­i­ous­ly to John Wade, John Reading, or Simao Portogallo.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

One of my top ten!

For the next ten days I'm going to list one of my top ten traditional Christmas Carols and tell a little of the composer, the era when written and how it speaks to me, etc. I'm going to resist the temptation to assign any listing of one over another, but will just say these are my top 10.

Here goes....
Once in Royal David's City, Cecil Frances Alexander 1818-1895. She wote a series of hymns to teach children about the Apostles Creed. She also a a knack for taking major biblical themes and boiling then into four or six simple lines. This carol is so complex, yet simple and beautiful that I can't just list one stanza. Music by Henry J Guantlett. An exceptionally gift­ed or­gan­ist, Gaunt­lett was well known in 19th Cen­tu­ry Eng­lish mu­sic cir­cles. He was al­so, in turn, law­yer, au­thor, or­gan de­sign­er, and or­gan re­ci­tal­ist. Some say he wrote over 10,000 hymns during his lifetime. He is considered the "Father of Church Music".

"Once in Royal David's city, Stood a lowly cattle shed.Where a mother laid her baby. In a manger for His bed. Mary was that mother mild. Jesus Christ her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven. Who is God and Lord of all. And His shelter was a stable. And His cradle was a stall. With the poor, and mean and lowly. Lived on earth, our Savior holy.

And through all His wondrous childhood. He would honor and obey. Love, and watch the lowly mother. In whose gentle arms He lay. Christian children all must be. Mild, obedient, good as He.

For He is our childhood's pattern. Day by day like us He grew. He was little, weak and helpless; Tears and smiles like us He know; And He feeleth for our sadness, and He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see Him, Through His own redeeming love; For that child so dear and gentle. Is our Lord in heav'n above; And He leads His chidren on. To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable, With the oxen standing round. We shall see Him, but in heaven, Set at God's right hand on high. When, like stars, His children crowned, All in white shall wait around.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Great minds discuss ideas.

Average minds discuss events.

Lesser minds discuss people.

Seen on the website, no author listed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Words for this storm from step-daughter Kerri Schwab

"Praise You In This Storm"

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Amen! Thanks Kerri.