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“In the Bleak Midwinter Long Ago” The world is too much with us and so…

And so…
… Pause…
… and begin again.

In the bleak mid-winter
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 mid-winter
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 mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty —
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom Angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and Archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His Mother
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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John Venlet December 19, 2019, 4:21 PM

    One of the things I miss, after many years of non regular attendance of church services, is the power and beauty of congregational singing. Lovely.

    • Jack December 19, 2021, 7:39 AM

      I feel the same John. I attended all of the time when my daughters were young but my attendance began to fall off when my younger daughter left her home for college and then my attendance began to trickl out altogether. But I loved my home church in Tulsa and I’ll watch the service this morning, a little later. When I woke this morning the first thing I sensed, through the haze of waking and half sleep, was musical memory of “In The Deep Midwinter. I love James Taylor’s version of it.

      • 3 Pipe Problem December 20, 2021, 7:25 AM

        Give Annie Lennox’s version a listen. In fact, her “Christmas Cornucopia” is one great carol after the other. Not a secular ditty in there. Not bad for professed agnostic.

        • Jacks December 20, 2021, 1:18 PM

          Thanks for the suggestion. I will do that.

  • grace clark December 20, 2019, 7:36 AM

    Oh, thank you. So beautiful!!

  • Denny December 21, 2019, 8:14 AM

    “Give my heart”
    I gave my heart in the year 1975. I was one of the first boomers, 30 years old, with a young family. It was impossible for me not to. Some Christians call it “Irresistible Grace”. The only regrets or misgivings I’ve ever suffered were why, in this obviously disgusting and deathly world, did I not do it sooner.

  • Kurt December 19, 2020, 4:43 AM

    The Great Gift, over 2000 years old and still new every year! In darkness, Light, in despair, Hope, in turmoil, Peace! And best of all, His Amazing Love, carried to us in the arms of a tiny babe, wrapped in rags and lying in a manger. Oh wonder of Christmas!

  • Kevin Shaughan Dickson December 19, 2020, 7:55 AM

    Probably one of the prettiest hymn ever written.

  • Jack December 19, 2020, 9:33 AM

    Beautiful old hymn. Merry Christmas all, it’s been a very strange and unendearing year.

    (I may have just made up a new word).

    Speaking of new words, I’ll recommend The Professor and The Mad Man with Mel Gibson and Sean Penn as a must see. Penn is out of his mind socially and politically but that guy is a fine actor.

    • gwbnyc December 19, 2021, 7:53 AM

      (I may have just made up a new word)”
      -for the nonce. it’s our language’s way.

  • Eric Blair December 19, 2020, 2:17 PM

    fave Christmas hymn, and second greatest hymn in Christendom

    I humbly propose Amazing Grace as the titleholder

  • Casey Klahn December 19, 2020, 6:43 PM

    A favorite high church hymn; Merry Christmas to all.

    I don’t know if this link will go through, but I have updated that painting of model Mallory:

    Kind thanks, Gerard.

  • BJM December 20, 2020, 8:53 AM

    Thank you, Gerard, as usual, you do not disappoint.

    @Jack Thanks for the recommendation. I watched the trailer and was torn, cus the book is a favorite and I was loath to watch lest the story be “woke” up.

  • Casey Klahn December 20, 2020, 1:02 PM

    THX, GvD.

  • Bill Jones December 20, 2020, 5:14 PM

    For me the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at Kings College Cambridge was always the start of Christmas. In pre-interwebs years I forgave the BBC a lot for that broadcast (except for the institutionalized Pederasty).

    It sums up the greatest civilization that ever existed and is being destroyed around us: Its buildings, music, core beliefs.

  • Anne December 20, 2020, 9:05 PM

    I grew up singing in a choir just like this one.It save my life–my soul. This video is very old–sometime from the 1970’s I think. But it is a true reflection of who we were. I am so alone.

  • Vanderleun December 20, 2020, 10:04 PM

    YOu are not alone Anne. Never.

  • Anonymous December 21, 2020, 7:08 AM

    Cradle Catholic who found himself faithless at ten years of age, five years later took an interest in Zen and ended up staying with it for now nearly sixty years, but never lost his love for the artistic joys and triumphs spawned by the Faith that made the West. The Christmas experience is emotionally and transcendentally inspiring and I’d sooner perish than see it denied to my grandchildren. The secular materialists can go pound sand on this one, and while they’re at it, can keep Kwanza and Hanukah among their own and stay out of the societal celebrations cherished by their hosts. Anyone who doesn’t derive pleasure and a sense of the transcendent from a carol such as this is depriving oneself of exaltation in a time when such is desperately needed.

  • gwbnyc December 18, 2021, 9:20 PM

    It brings thanks and peace.

    The first year or so, years ago, on my newly corrected course I worked for an outfit that made and installed glass and sculpture for houses of worship, cemeteries, etc. Alone in a Catholic church standing on scaffold I was removing old dried cement from a bricked window opening using a cold chisel and a drilling hammer. Holding the chisel loosely in a gloved hand on a knot of mortar it rang clearly when struck. I immediately took note of it, stopped, and imagined another man engaged in the same act years prior, noting the same. Another hymn.

    • Mike Austin December 19, 2021, 2:56 AM

      Yes, “another hymn”. And another. And another. Until the end of time. Peace be with you.

      • gwbnyc December 19, 2021, 7:55 AM

        -and you, as well.

  • Richard December 19, 2021, 9:04 AM

    As I’ve grown older, this sacred carol has steadily moved up my personal favorites list. The following and Silent Night go back and forth for Number 1.
    Though I’ve not heard a cover of this song that I have not liked, this guy really nails it.

  • Rob De Witt December 19, 2021, 11:02 AM

    Good Christians all,
    My friend Joe Sherlock, a cradle Catholic, lifelong conservative and proprietor of The View Through The Windshield (https://www.joesherlock.com/blog.html), has had a serious heart attack. Surgery was stopped because his other organs were affected, and he has elected palliative and hospice care.

    Prayers for Joe and his family, please. He’s one of the good guys.

    • Mike Austin December 19, 2021, 11:19 AM

      Prayers coming Joe’s way, and to his family. Please keep us informed.

  • Zaphod December 20, 2021, 3:16 AM

    Thank you Gerard. Seeing this come around every year at this time is wonderful.

    I can clearly remember when I first saw and heard this video. It was Christmas 2009 and I was freezing my posterior off alone in a newly moved into apartment in Macau. Where does Time go?

  • 3 Pipe Problem December 20, 2021, 7:25 AM

    Give Annie Lennox’s version a listen. In fact, her “Christmas Cornucopia” is one great carol after the other. Not a secular ditty in there. Not bad for professed agnostic.

  • Bill December 20, 2021, 10:31 AM

    You posted this many years ago when I was traveling and saw it. It had a profound effect and I sent a comment at that time. It brought out all the loneliness I was feeling and it still moves me after several years of retirement. Of all the Christmas songs, it is the one I treasure the most.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  • ThisIsNotNutella December 18, 2022, 7:58 PM

    Been waiting for this to come around.

  • ThisIsNotNutella December 18, 2022, 8:02 PM

    Perhaps many of you will have owned this 1966 LP back in the day:

    “Christmas Carols from Guildford Cathedral” [US VERSION] – Guildford Cathedral Choir (Barry Rose)

    Playable from anywhere.

    The full UK version is here:

    However this one requires you to VPN into the UK because of copyright restrictions.

  • ahem December 23, 2022, 5:00 PM