December 8, 2019
A spotless rose is blowing,
Sprung from a tender root,
Of ancient seers’ foreshowing,
Of Jesse promised fruit;
Its fairest bud unfolds to light
Amid the cold, cold winter,
And in the dark midnight.
The rose which I am singing,
Whereof Isaiah said,
Is from its sweet root springing
In Mary, purest maid;
Through God’s great love and might
The blessed babe she bore us
In a cold, cold winter’s night.
November 24, 2019
Wide, worn and weathered,
Of green and white and granite grey;
Snowy patches strewn,
Anchored to the craggy earth,
While clouds dance
Across the vast, eternal sky.
July 30, 2019
It’s the birthday of Emily Brontë (1818-1848), who is remembered — when she’s remembered at all — as the author of Wuthering Heights, her only novel. Not many know that she was also one of the finest English poets of the nineteenth century. Here is a choral setting by Ola Gjeilo of one of her poems.
When days of beauty deck the earth
Or stormy nights descend
How well my spirit knows the path
On which it ought to wend
It seeks the consecrated spot
Beloved in childhood’s years
The space between is all forgot
Its sufferings and its tears.
May 5, 2019
It’s the birthday of pianist and composer Ola Gjeilo, born in Norway in 1978. He earned his bachelor’s degree in composition from the Royal Academy of Music in London and his master’s in composition from the Juilliard School. Here is “The Ground” from Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass, sung by the Central Washington University Chamber Choir with the composer at the piano.
January 13, 2019
Stillness comes when snow is falling,
Covering all in solemn white;
Lines of grey from hearth-fires rising,
Gathering all in restful night.
Spirit dwells in deep reflection,
Autumn cares to lay aside,
Finding signs of new direction
In the still of wintertide.
While outside the cold wind blowing,
Swirling, restless raw and rime,
Here inside a wave is growing,
Biding, silent, all in time.
After winter’s meditation
Gates of nature burst apart;
Comes the springtime’s inspiration,
Flowing from the ready heart.
February 18, 2018
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
Love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice in Him and be glad.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love one another.