Monday, 31 January 2011

Dalwhinnie Distillery - 1

An opportunity to sample the 'Gentle Spirit' of the glen at one of the highest distilleries in the land, Dalwhinnie is a wonderfully full-bodied, smooth and warming malt whisky. Where it matters, Dalwhinnie retains the old ways. Increasingly rare wooden worm tubs, a landmark outside the distillery distinctive as it’s pagoda roofs, help this remain a spirit of real character.

Situated high in the Grampian mountains, near the geographical centre of Scotland, Dalwhinnie has for centuries been a meeting place, principally for the cattle drovers travelling down from the North, or over from Kintail, Skye and the Hebrides,to the main markets at Crieff and Falkirk in the south. It is probable that there was at that time an illicit still at Dalwhinnie, to meet their needs, as the journey was long and arduous, and required frequent resting periods.

Dalwhinnie is confirmed by the Met. Office as having the coldest average recorded temperature (6.0C) of any inhabited region in Scotland and probably, the UK.

In 2006 Alan Rae took over as Distillery Manager. We now have a team of 6 men and 2 women producing our Dalwhinnie single malt,between them they have over 160 years of experience. We have a busy visitors centre and well stocked whisky shop, with 4 permanent staff and 6 seasonal guides.

Dalwhinnie Distillery is indeed remote, and it is not a good idea to pay a visit whilst driving. Fortunately, Dalwhinnie has its own railway station and is approximately 1 hour from Inverness on the train.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

In today's gospel we hear the Sermon on the Mount.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his Name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age to same;
his holy Name--the Lord, the Mighty One.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children's children and for evermore!

Song of Mary (Magnificat) (Luke 1:46-56);
Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 18

Following the Solemn Mass, Procession and Marian Devotions, the Bishop of Aberdeen hosted a lunch party for the clergy at the Lovat Arms Hotel.

The lunch was held in a Private Dining Room at the rear of the hotel. The food and service were excellent. Below you will find the dinner menu for the main restaurant.

-- Starters--

Homemade Soup of the Day (please ask server) £3.25
Served with the slice of freshly baked bread
The Lovat Arms Very Own Cullen Skink £4.75
A creamy Traditional Broth of leeks, potatoes and oak smoked haddock
Highland Haggis Tower £4.75
Topped with a red onion marmalade and served on a crisp potato crouton
Loaded Potato Skins £4.50
With bacon, mozzarella and sweet chilli jam, presented on crisp salad leafs
Grilled Goats Cheese and Tomato Salad £4.50
Served with crispy croutons and balsamic syrup
Smoked Salmon and Cocktail Prawn Salad £5.95
Chicken Liver Parfait £4.75
Enhanced with brandy and cream, served with red currant jelly & oatcakes

-- Pasta Dishes --

Smoked Salmon Slices, Herbs & a hint of Lemon £8.25
Combined with linguine pasta and parmesan sauce
Spiced Ratatouille £7.25
Penne pasta topped with melting mozzarella cheese
Baked Lasagne £7.95
Traditional beef bolognaise hand layered and topped with a rich cheese sauce accompanied with garden lettuce leafs, French fries & garlic bread

-- Main Meals --

Poached Smoked Haddock £7.95
Simply poached smoked haddock served on a bed
of mash potatoes infused with sautéed leeks
topped with a parsley sauce
Lovat's Chicken Stack £8.25
Grampian chicken topped with bacon and
smoky BBQ sauce, glazed with mozzarella cheese
with house salad, French fries or buttered potatoes
Pie of the Day (please ask server) £8.50
Served with selection of vegetables and
buttered potatoes
Chicken Curry £7.95
Marinated chicken in medium spices bound with
an aromatic curry sauce with Basmati rice and crisp poppadom
Scotch Lamb Shoulder £10.25
Prepared in our own secret marinade,
slowly braised and rested on a leek mash
with a red wine demi-glaze
The Highlander £11.50
Rolled escalope of venison stuffed with
Highland haggis and napped with whisky and onion sauce,
served with medley of vegetables and buttered potatoes

-- From The Grill --

Roast Gammon Steak £9.25
8oz gammon steak with caramelised pineapple
or double fried egg
Grampian Chicken £8.25
Breast of chicken simply grilled
Double Boneless Loin of Pork £9.25
8oz Sirloin Steak £14.75
10oz Sirloin Steak £16.25

All meals from the grill are served with Seasoned Tomato,
Battered Onion Rings, Field Mushrooms
and Chips or Buttered Potatoes

-- Homemade Sauces --

Pink Peppercorn Cream Sauce with the Hint of Whisky £2.50
Red Wine Demi-glaze £2.50
Strathdon Blue Cheese Sauce £2.50
Barbecue Sauce £2.50

There was much merriment at the lunch table, because we had all been required to make our choice before the day, and to inform the Dean of our requirements. Some of those present 'changed their mind' when they saw how much nicer was the choice of someone else. The waiting staff were getting in quite a state with all these 'white' lies, and so the Dean had to restore order by solemnly reading out the details as recorded on his spreadsheet. I am not sure whether anyone had to go to the Bishop for confession, but am pleased to report that I told the truth. What a good job this was all in private!

I hope you have enjoyed our visit to Beauly. Why not visit it yourself sometime?

Friday, 28 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 17

Our Marian Devotions concluded with the singing of the Salve Regina.

Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae,
ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
misericordes oculos ad nos converte;
et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.

How wonderful it was to sing the same words and tune which would have been sung by the monks within these very walls so many years ago. We are all grateful to Historic Scotland for so willingly allowing us to still worship in the ruins of the Priory.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 16

Here we see the sanctuary party, as the Bishop of Aberdeen reflects on the significance of the day and prepares to lead us in the recitation of the Rosary.

In addition to the Bishop, you can see Fr James Bell (Dean of the Highland Deanery) and Deacon John (from St Ninian's, Inverness) and Deacon Patrick (from St Mary's, Inverness). The MC is holding the statue of Our Lady, and behind Deacon John you can see the crucifer. The thurifer and acolytes are standing behind Deacon Patrick. The altar servers were drawn from various parishes in the Deanery - they are all members of the Guild of St Stephen.

Sing we of the blessed Mother who received the angel's word,
And obedient to the summons bore in love the infant Lord;
Sing we of the joys of Mary at whose breast that child was fed
Who is Son of God eternal and the everlasting Bread.

Sing we, too, of Mary's sorrows, of the sword that pierced her through,
When beneath the cross of Jesus she his weight of suff'ring knew,
Looked upon her Son and Saviour reigning from the awful tree,
Saw the price of our redemption paid to set the sinner free.

Sing again the joys of Mary when she saw the risen Lord,
And in prayer with Christ's apostles, waited on his promised word:
From on high the blazing glory of the Spirit's presence came,
Heav'nly breath of God's own being tokened in the wind and flame.

Sing the greatest joy of Mary, when on earth her work was done,
And the Lord of all creation brought her to his heav'nly home:
Virgin Mother, Mary blessed, raised on high and crowned with grace,
May your Son, the world's redeemer, grant us all to see his face.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 15

Here we see the faithful arriving in the Priory for their Marian Devotions. The processional hymn was Immaculate Mary.

Immaculate Mary!
Our hearts are on fire,
That title so wondrous
Fills all our desire.
Ave, ave, ave, Maria! (2)

We pray for God's glory,
May His Kingdom come!
We pray for His Vicar,
Our Father, and Rome. Ave...

We pray for our Mother
The Church upon earth,
And bless, sweetest Lady,
The land of our birth. Ave...

For poor, sick, afflicted
thy mercy we crave;
and comfort the dying
thou light of the grave. Ave...

There is no need, Mary,
nor ever has been,
which thou canst not succour,
Immaculate Queen. Ave...

In grief and temptation,
in joy or in pain,
we'll ask thee, our Mother,
nor seek thee in vain. Ave...

O bless us, dear Lady,
With blessings from heaven.
And to our petitions
Let answer be given. Ave...

And crown thy sweet mercy
With this special grace,
To behold soon in heaven
God's ravishing face. Ave...

Now to God be all glory
And worship for aye,
And to God's virgin Mother
An endless Ave. Ave...

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 14

The head of the procession is in sight and the piper has started to play. In addition to being the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, tonight is also Burns Night and bagpipes will be heard in almost every town and village of Scotland.

The highlight of the Burns Supper is the piping in of the haggis. This custom is not only observed in Scotland, indeed it is even observed in Rome. We know that Pope Benedict XVI was served haggis, neaps and tatties for lunch when he was in Edinburgh on Thursday 16 September 2010 - though we do not know what he thought of it! I doubt whether a Burns Supper is held within the walls of the Vatican, but I am sure some high ranking Vatican official was present at the supper shown below.

Happy Feast!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 13

Every September the Bishop of Aberdeen travels to Beauly to celebrate Mass in the parish church and to lead a procession to the Priory for Marian Devotions. Naturally, a piper is in attendance for such a great occasion.

Here we see the piper waiting the arrival of the altar servers, clergy and faithful. Highland Cathedral is a very popular modern tune played by many pipers, and now we can enjoy the tune being played by a group of pipers in Dunblane Cathedral.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

In today's gospel reading from Matthew we hear how Jesus fulfils the words of the Prophet Isaiah which we heard in the first reading. We also hear about the calling of the first disciples as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee.

The race that long in darkness pined,
Have seen a glorious Light;
The people dwell in day, who dwelt
In death’s surrounding night.

To hail Thy rise, Thou better Sun,
The gathering nations come,
Joyous as when the reapers bear
The harvest treasures home.

For Thou our burden hast removed,
And quelled the oppressor’s sway,
Quick as the slaughtered squadrons fell
In Midian’s evil day.

To us a Child of Hope is born,
To us a Son is given,
Him shall the tribes of earth obey,
Him all the hosts of heaven.

His Name shall be the Prince of Peace,
Forevermore adored,
The Wonderful, the Counselor,
The great and mighty Lord.

His power increasing still shall spread,
His reign no end shall know:
Justice shall guard His throne above,
And peace abound below.

J Morison, 1749-1798 (Scottish Paraphrase)

It is of course essential that these words are sung to the tune 'Dundee' as given in the Scottish Psalter of 1615. I was unable to find a descent setting of these words to this tune, but try and sing along to the tune as played for other words. Note: Please start singing immediately you hear the organ play - don't wait for an introduction!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 12

It is sad seeing the beautiful Priory standing in ruins today. The photo below gives some idea of how things would have been when the church was used for worship.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him: the Lord is his Name!

Low at his feet lay thy burden of carefulness,
high on his heart he will bear it for thee,
comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness
of the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine;
truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness,
these are the offerings to lay on his shrine.

These, though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,
he will accept for the Name that is dear;
mornings of joy give for evenings of tearfulness,
trust for our trembling and hope for our fear.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him: the Lord is his Name!

John Samuel Bewley Monsell, 1863

Friday, 21 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 11

Work on the church began after the priory’s foundation in around 1230, once the monks had built their accommodation.

It was originally conceived as an elongated rectangle with a chapel or sacristy on the north side. As far as we know the church remained much as it was until the fifteenth century when records of repairs and additions began to appear. The Frasers of Lovat, local benefactors, built the Chapel of the Holy Cross around 1416 and continued to make repairs throughout the century.

Please click on the photo for further fascinating information.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 10

Take a moment to imagine the ‘beautiful place’ where monks of the Valliscaulian order came to build their priory around 800 years ago.

Close to a series of bends in the river the monks would have found little more here than a chapel and isolated farmsteads. Tis was not just a pretty spot but somewhere with good agricultural land and excellent fishing that would be able to support a community of up to 20 monks, as well as the lay brethren who undertook their agricultural work and other duties.

Please click on the photo for further information.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 9

Mary Queen of Scots visited Beauly Priory in 1564 while travelling between Inverness and Dingwall.

Please click on the photo below for further details.

Mary, Queen of Scots (born as Mary Stewart and known in French as Marie Stuart; 8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587) was Scottish queen regnant from 14 December 1542 to 24 July 1567. In lists of Scottish monarchs, she is recognised as Mary I.

She was the only surviving legitimate child of King James V of Scotland. She was 6 days old when her father died and she was crowned nine months later. In 1558, she married Francis, Dauphin of France, who ascended the French throne as Francis II in 1559. Mary was not Queen of France for long; she was widowed on 5 December 1560. Mary then returned to Scotland, arriving in Leith on 19 August 1561. Four years later, she married her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Their union was unhappy and in February 1567, there was a huge explosion at their house, and Darnley was found dead, apparently strangled, in the garden.

She soon married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, who was generally believed to be Darnley's murderer. Following an uprising against the couple, Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle on 15 June and forced to abdicate in favour of her one-year-old son, James VI. After an unsuccessful attempt to regain the throne, Mary fled to England seeking the protection of her first cousin once removed, Queen Elizabeth I of England, whose kingdom she hoped to inherit. Mary had previously claimed Elizabeth's throne as her own and was considered the legitimate sovereign of England by many English Catholics, including participants in the Rising of the North. Perceiving her as a threat, Elizabeth had her arrested. After 19 years in custody in a number of castles and manor houses in England, she was tried and executed for treason for her alleged involvement in three plots to assassinate Elizabeth.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 8

This is my favourite view of the Priory! The east end is in remarkably good state of repair.

In about 1510 the priory changed its adherence to the Cistercian order. Substantial further work took place on the church under Prior Robert Reid in 1541, after lightning damage. Reid also held many other offices and is perhaps better known as the Bishop of Orkney and the founding father of Edinburgh University.

After the Reformation the priory fell into disuse, and the lead was removed from the roof in 1582. Much of the priory became a quarry used for its stone during the construction of other buildings in the town: and it is said that some of the stone was carted off for use in the citadel built in Inverness by Oliver Cromwell's forces in 1652.

Today marks the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 7

The Priory is relatively small and simple - but it is noble simplicity, not plainness, as this photo clearly shows.

The church, whose ruins still stand, was only part of a complex that included a cloister to its south, complete with east and south ranges accommodating the monks and a west range providing the prior's lodging. The standing south wall of the church shows signs of earlier roof lines, indicating how the rest of the priory was connected to it.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

In the Gospel today from John, we hear John the Baptists referring to Jesus as the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
announces that the Lord is nigh;
awake and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings.

Then cleansed be every breast from sin;
make straight the way for God within,
prepare we in our hearts a home
where such a mighty Guest may come.

For thou art our salvation, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward;
without thy grace we waste away
like flowers that wither and decay.

To heal the sick stretch out thine hand,
and bid the fallen sinner stand;
shine forth and let thy light restore
earth's own true loveliness once more.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
whose advent doth thy people free;
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

Words: Charles Coffin, 1736
trans. John Chandler, 1837

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 6

Here we see the simple west end of the Priory.

Beauly's patron was Sir John Bisset, whose family's lands were later joined by marriage to the predominant landowners of the area, the Frasers of Lovat. The monastery was complete by 1272 and in 1287 Sir Simon Fraser of Lovat was buried in front of the altar in the chancel.

In 1430 Sir Hugh Fraser of Lovat complained to the Pope that the priory was being mismanaged, and as a result the buildings were falling into decay. A programme of restoration and rebuilding followed.

We shall learn more about the Lovat Arms Hotel (which is occasionally visited by the Bishop of Aberdeen) in a future post.

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.

O enter then His gates with praise;
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His Name always,
For it is seemly so to do.

For why? the Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom Heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the angel host
Be praise and glory evermore.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 5

Historic Scotland deserve our grateful thanks for the excellent care they take of the Priory grounds.

Beauly Priory has been in the care of the state since 1913 and is now looked after by Historic Scotland. You may find on arrival that the gate from the main town square is locked. If so there should be a sign telling you where the key is held: usually at the Priory Hotel on the square. It is pleasing to note that this generous policy for admission is rarely abused, and that the children and teenagers of Beauly treat the Priory grounds with care and respect. They set a fine example for older folk to copy!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 4

Here we see a photo of the main street in the little town of Beauly.

A prominent feature is this font like water feature which forms the centre of a floral display.

May I suggest a visit to the House of Beauly - the coffee shop/restaurant is excellent!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 3

Should you wish to visit Beauly, I would suggest you consider travelling by train. Here we see the station - not exactly Clapham Junction! Just one short platform with a shelter, but delightful none the less.

Beauly railway station serves the village of Beauly in the Highland Council area of Scotland. It is the first stop after leaving Inverness station, heading north on the Kyle of Lochalsh Line and the Far North Line. The original station, opened in 1862 with the construction of the Inverness and Ross-shire Railway, had two platforms and a passing loop. It closed nearly a century later, in 1960.

Following a local campaign, the station was reopened in 2002. A new platform, shelter and car park were built in a £250,000 project. This platform is one of the shortest in Scotland, only long enough for a single carriage. Normally operated by Class 158 trains, there is only one door in operation. Announcements are made on the train as to which door this will be. The original station building is now used for offices and housing.

The reopening of the station led to 75% of local commuters switching from road to rail. Beauly has therefore provided a boost to campaigns to open small basic local stations. In 2007/8 with its population of just 1,164 Beauly's usage to population ratio (36 annual journeys per head) ranked as one of the highest in Britain. With increased services, usage became more impressive still (75,750 per annum) giving a population to usage ratio of 65 journeys per head of population.

It's time for another good sing-song!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 2

This map extract clearly shows the location of Beauly Priory.

Beauly is a most delightful place. It is a town of the Scottish county of Inverness-shire, on the River Beauly, 10 miles west of Inverness by the Far North railway line. The town is now within the Highland Council area. The land around Beauly is fertile and the town historically traded in coal, timber, lime, grain and fish.

The arrow at the top of the map points to the site of the annual Black Isle Show - where I work as a waiter each August. The railway station is located at the south west of the town, where the road goes over the railway line.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Beauly Priory - 1

Well, today we start our visit to Beauly Priory.

Beauly Priory was a Valliscaulian monastic community located at "Insula de Achenbady", now Beauly, Inverness-shire. It was probably founded in 1230. It is not known for certain who the founder was, different sources giving Alexander II of Scotland, John Bisset and both. The French monks, along with Bisset (a nearby, recently settled landowner), had a strong enough French-speaking presence to give the location and the river the name "beau lieu" ("beautiful place") and have it pass into English. It is not the best documented abbey, and few of the priors of Beauly are known by name until the 14th century.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Christmas Joy - 16

What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?
Awake the voice! Awake the string!

Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honour to this day
That sees December turned to May.

Why does the chilling winter's morn
Smile, like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like a meadow newly shorn
Thus on the sudden? Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:

'Tis he is born. whose quickening birth
Gives life and lustre, public mirth,
To heaven and the under-earth.

We see him come, and know him ours,
Who, with his sunshine and his showers,
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.

The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome him, to welcome him.

The nobler part of all the house here, is the heart.
Which we will give him: and bequeath
This holly, and this ivy wreath.
To do him honour. who's our King,
And Lord of all this revelling.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Christmas Joy - 15

1. Lo! the pilgrim magi
Leave their royal halls,
And with eager footsteps
Speed to Bethlehem's walls;
As they onward journey,
Faith, which firmly rests,
Built on hope unswerving,
Triumphs in their breasts.

2. O what joy and gladness
Filled each heart, from far
When, to guide their footsteps,
Shone that radiant star;
O'er that home so holy,
Pouring down its ray,
Where the cradled infant
With his mother lay.

3. Costly pomp and splendour
Earthly kings array;
He, a mightier Monarch,
Hath a nobler sway;
Straw may be his pallet,
Mean his garb may be,
Yet with power transcendent
He all hearts can free.

4. At his crib they worship,
Kneeling on the floor,
And their God there present,
In that Babe adore;
To our God and Saviour
We, as Gentiles true,
Give our heart o'er flowing,
Give our tribute due.

5. Bringing of our substance,
Gold unto our King;
Pure and chastened bodies
To our Christ we bring;
Unto him, like incense,
Vow and prayer address;
So with meetest offerings,
Him our God confess.

6. Glory to the Father,
Fount of Life alone;
Who unto the Gentiles,
Made his glory known.
Equal praise and glory,
Blessèd Son, to thee,
And to thee, Blest Spirit,
Evermore shall be. Amen.

This video brings back happy memories of my days at St Aidan's, Leeds in the 1960's. We certainly knew how to celebrate a festival in the good old days!

Court Circular 6 January 2011
by The British Monarchy on Friday, January 7, 2011 at 10:23am
SANDRINGHAM, NORFOLK: Today being the Feast of the Epiphany, a Sung Eucharist was held in the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, when the customary offerings of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were made on behalf of The Queen by Air Vice-Marshal David Hobart and Major Grant Baker (Gentlemen Ushers to Her Majesty).
The Bishop of London (Dean of Her Majesty's Chapels Royal) was the Celebrant and presented the Offerings, assisted by the Reverend Prebendary William Scott (Sub-Dean of Her Majesty's Chapels Royal) and the Reverend Richard Bolton (Priest in Ordinary).
The Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard was on duty in the Chapel.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Christmas Joy - 14

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid;
star of the east, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Cold on his cradle the dewdrops are shining,
low lies his head with the beasts of the stall;
angels adore him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Saviour of all.

Shall we then yield him, in costly devotion,
odors of Edom, and offerings divine,
gems of the mountain, and pearls of the ocean,
myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine?

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
vainly with gifts would his favor secure,
richer by far is the heart's adoration,
dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid;
star of the east, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Christmas Joy - 13

Past three a clock,
And a cold frosty morning,
Past three a clock;
Good morrow, masters all!

1. Born is a Baby,
Gentle as may be,
Son of the eternal
Father supernal.

2. Seraph quire singeth,
Angel bell ringeth;
Hark how they rime it,
Time it and chime it.

3. Mid earth rejoices
Hearing such voices
e'ertofore so well
Carolling Nowell.

4. Hinds o'er the pearly,
Dewy lawn early
Seek the high Stranger
Laid in the manger.

5. Cheese from the dairy
Bring they for Mary
And, not for money,
Butter and honey.

6. Light out of star-land
Leadeth from far land
Princes, to meet him,
Worship and greet him.

7. Myrrh from full coffer,
Incense they offer;
Nor is the golden
Nugget withholden.

8. Thus they: I pray you,
Up, sirs, nor stay you
Till ye confess him
Likewise and bless him.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Christmas Joy - 12

God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour,
Was born upon this day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy!

In Bethlehem in Jewry
This blessed Babe was born,
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn;
The which his mother Mary
Nothing did take in scorn. Refrain

From God our heavenly Father
A blessed angel came,
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name. Refrain

The shepherds at these tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway
This blessed Babe to find. Refrain

But when to Bethlehem they came,
Whereat this Infant lay,
They found him in a manger
Where oxen fed on hay;
His mother Mary, kneeling,
Unto the Lord did pray. Refrain

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace.
The holy tide of Christmas
All others doth efface. Refrain

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Christmas Joy - 11

On Christmas night all Christians sing,
To hear the news the angels bring;
On Christmas night all Christians sing,
To hear the news the angels bring:
News of great joy, news of great mirth,
News of our merciful King’s birth.

Then why should men on earth be sad,
Since our Redeemer made us glad:
Then why should we on earth be sad,
Since our Redeemer made us glad:
When from our sin He set us free,
All for to gain our liberty.

When sin departs before Your grace,
Then life and health come in its place;
When sin departs before Your grace,
Then life and health come in its place;
Angels and men with joy may sing,
All for to see the newborn King.

All out of darkness we have light
Which made the angels sing this night;
All out of darkness we have light
Which made the angels sing this night:
“Glory to God and peace to men,
Now and forevermore. Amen.”

Monday, 3 January 2011

Christmas Joy - 10

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,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall 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.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Christmas Joy - 9

We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.


O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.


Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worshipping God on high.


Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.


Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Sounds through the earth and skies.


Saturday, 1 January 2011

Christmas Joy - 8

Now the holly bears a berry as white as the milk
And Mary bore Jesus, who was wrapped up in silk.

Refrain: And Mary bore Jesus Christ our Saviour for to be
And the first tree in the greenwood, it was the holly.
And the first tree in the greenwood it was the holly.

Now the holly bears a berry as green as the grass
And Mary bore Jesus, who died on the cross.


Now the holly bears a berry as black as the coal
And Mary bore Jesus, who died for us all.


Now the holly bears a berry as blood is it red
Then trust we our Saviour who rose from the dead.