Sunday, December 14, 2008

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen or Lo, How a Rose Eer Blooming for the Third Sunday of Advent

Liebe Freunde,

This series of musical musings is the way I am celebrating advent. The music that I've chosen is not necessarily advent music, but rather Christmas music if you want to get technical. And many people in liturgical circles are not content to be anything but technical. No, they do not let themselves sing the carols they want to sing, because they are Christmas carols, not advent songs. How do we tell these dear Episcopal friends and other followers of higher forms of liturgy in worship that it is, well, ok?

Sigh. I want to tell them to relax, but they cannot.

This is an advent song, appropriate, to this third week of Advent, the shepherd's week with it's pink candle. Why pink? Some people say for the joy of it. And that is nearly a good enough reason for me. But there is a little more and it is depicted in the beautiful carol, Lo, How a Rose Eer Blooming. Sung here in German, slowly, we are drawn to see the special beauty of a rose, a pink one, springing up out of season. And the beauty to our sight and the fragrance in a night half spent, does, indeed, give us great joy.

The original carol has 23 stanzas, much more than the translation below.

This is the translation that was offered with this piece on YouTube and is said to be a literal rendering of the German. The carol "sprung up" in the 15th century in Germany and reflects prophetic scriptures from the Old Testament:

Song of Solomon, 2:1,
"I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys."

and Isaiah 11:1,
"There shall come forth a shoot
from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots."

A rose has sprung up,
from a tender root.
As to us the men of old have sung,
Its lineage was from Jesse.
And it has brought forth a little blossom
In the middle of the cold winter
When the night was half spent.
Of which Isaiah spoke
Is Mary, the pure one,
Who has brought to us the little blossom.
According to Gods eternal counsel,
She has borne a child
When the night was half spent.
The little blossom, so small

That smells so sweet to us
With its very great light
Dispels the darkness.
True man and true God!
It helps us in all trouble,
Saves from sin and death.

Lo, How a Rose Eer Blooming is my husband's favorite Christmas Carol, and I do understand why.



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