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tisdag 20 december 2016

Adeste fidelis!! O come ye!!

  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I can absolutely say that this has been a very dark and strange year for our family, but we are trying hard to fight it through. One thing that really makes the difference is the running of  our church year. Reminding me of the promises and revelations.  However dark I find my days, night shall not prevail. However bad the world is turning, His love will stand victorious.

And so when we got home from church this evening, after this years Christmasconcert, our oldest had almost finished decorating the house. Too early for me, but she really needed to do this and there it was!
Since Ray shared some music on her latest post, I would like to do the same. On Youtube I find some of the songs we sang tonight: This is Natt skall ej förbliva,  Night will not prevail, this you can listen to here, I really love it:
The one below is rather old and here sung by a choir in my old church in Malmö. It's simply called Jul Jul,  Christmas, christmas, radiant Christmas..Nice. 

Of course we also sing swedish versions of Silent night, Adeste fideles, O holy night and several english hymns that have been translated. 

 Here below is one classic swedish that we always sing on the morning of Christmas day: "When Christmas day is dawning, to the stable I will go"
Several I couldn't find, I have to come around to publishing my own recordings here, how??
If you read music sheets, below is one I wrote some years ago, adapted for three-part choir. I can't write any musical notes, let alone read any, but I shamelessly use my collegues to put my twiddlings on paper. This one turned out rather well.  The lyrics translated perhaps like this:
"December night, hours that stray, longing to see the dawn of the day. Wander in hope, believe in the word - a child will be born to save all the world. For the Lord will share his light, and the star will shine so bright over Betlehem where my heart will find peace."

This is called "Longing for Betlehem". A simple tune, I'm no great composer,  rather nicely set for choir by my collegue.  Above I tried to translate some, that is really rather difficult!

The Christmas concert of last year, I didn't hold the prayer so I'm somewhere in the middle.

A typical swedish christmas some hundred years ago had traces of pagan rituals, so Santa Claus is a rather late invention here, we had gnomes living in the barn, lepricons perhaps they could be called, looking something like this, but much simpler in clothing:
When these little goblins were treated badly they could act real mean but in folklore they eventually got round to take care of the house, deliver presents, here with the goat that for many years precedented Santa. Children of past days where scared with many things, goats, witches, trolls, gnomes, ghosts and other pleasant creatures lurking in the woods or in caves or underground. Before the days when father ,dressed as Santa ,came banging on the door, people used to wrap up a gift, bang loudly on the door and throw it in. 21 of december is Thomas mass, after that date it was not allowed to argue or fight, Christmas peace should reign. That is also the longest night of the year, then the light slowly returns.

These two gentlemen are about hundred years old, they come from my grandmothers home.
This church was made by some elderly gentlemen in Ystad where we used to live. It's suppose to be a model of one of the many churches in the countryside around Ystad. We bought it 1992 , inside there are benches, an alter, a priest and a mixed congregation. We do have a crib but it hasn't arrived in it's place yet, too early still.....

A typical swedish Christmas of today would probably start with some odd presents in the morning, round 11 some have the tradition to attend church, a service around the crib. Later in the afternoon we have the Christmasprayer. But most people are at home watching Donald Duck wishing a merry Christmas, waiting for the man with the bag.

We eat a lot, smoked and cooked ham with pickled cabbage, mustard and potatoes, sausages, meatballs, liverwurst, pickled herrings of all kinds,smoked salmon, eggs, a dish we bake in the oven with striped potatoes, anchovis, onions and cream. For desert we eat rice porridge with fruit sauce. After the Santa has payed his visit the presents are opened and we have gluhwein or coffee and cookies and pastries. Like these here.  
When I was a child we would sometimes sing some hymns and then plays cards or Monopoly. 

Every year we have a host on tv, we've had that for 50 years, in the early days of television people needed a guide for the tableau, and it was considdered important for  lonely people to have someone kind to spend the Christmas with.  For many years it was the same man, lighting the candles and looking all fatherly and kind . Cartoons where scarce so we watched Donald Duck and friends.
  At 6.30 in the morning we celebrate Christmas day, choir on the organloft, me leading the service, the service is very traditional and called Julotta, meaning VERY EARLY. 
But today it's wednesday morning/night and I have to sleep a few hours before heading for the local chapel where our villageschool holds a ceremony to celebrate the end of this semester. The holidays will last until january 10th.  I'm invited to speak.  Later in the afternoon the mood shifts and I will hold a funeral, one of the three this week. Life in church is just like life itself, ever shifting.

7 kommentarer:

  1. Glad to hear that you are well into the spirit of the season and to share some of your music. Every Blessing with leading services and I hope you find time for yourself and your loved ones.

    1. Thank you Freda, I badly need all the blessings the season can bring. We live in quite a turmoil but night shall not prevail!!! Merry Christmas!!!

  2. CORRECTION : The shortest night of the year is at Summer Solstice in June!
    Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year and the shortest day.

    1. I have corrected it, hope you enjoyed the post otherwise, Mel!!!

  3. Sorry, that is what I meant, it was late night dear Melvyn!!!

  4. What a beautiful post! I enjoyed the photos and the all the information and just connecting with you! MERRY CHRISTMAS!


    1. Thank you Linda!! Yes it's nice to connect with you too, we live in so very different corners of the world you and I and have quite a lot to share. Merry Christmas to you and Terry, Boomer and the rest of your family!!