Did you know that Christmas is a season of twelve days and not just a one-day event?
Today, Jan 5, is the twelfth and last day of Christmas. Nancy Berry, our accomplished Organist and Handbells director, has written today’s devotion.
With the plethora of beautiful Christmas music to choose from, it is impossible to pick a “favorite” carol; however, any list I made would have to include “In Dulci Jubilo”-a 14th century carol we know as “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice”. I love this music because it encompasses the sheer joy of Christ’s coming as a baby to be the savior of all.
Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul, and voice; | Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today; | Ox and ass before Him bow; and He is in the manger now. | Christ is born today! Christ is born today!
The second verse reminds us of why He came:
Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice; | Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this! | He has opened the heavenly door, and man is blest forevermore. | Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!
The third verse reminds us of the eternal life we are promised through Christ Jesus:
Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice; | Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save! | Calls you one and calls you all, to gain His everlasting hall. | Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!
The German mystic who is credited with having written the first version of In Dulci Jubilo in 1328, heard angels sing these words and then joined them in a dance of worship. The rhythm of the carol gives it a dance-like feel and adds to the joyfulness of the carol.
Many composers have arranged this music over the centuries. Two of my favorite organ arrangements are J.S. Bach’s In Dulci Jubilo and Marcel Dupre’s In Quiet Joy.
Enjoy this arrangement sung by the Robert Shaw Chorale: