Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
In our house, Christmas carols have continued long after the tree has been put up, and decorations carefully filed away, and all chocolate eaten (well, not all, yet). In fact, they’ve continued daily in the car with my favorite collection, upon Isabella’s insistence that we always start each ride with “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” and at some point encounter “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” also known as “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
I’m finding it harder this year to let go the season, in part because of what has transpired in my life of late, and mostly because I am a Christmas person, meaning everything that’s a part of the season--the anticipation of Advent, the upwelling of music and feeling each week leading up to the day--does it for me. In truth, I write this still within the season as a Catholic; I’m not ready for Valentine’s Day, Target. Give me my Hark! and Gloria, please. I started late to the party; I want to stay awhile longer.
Having a three-year-old helps matters--she has decided to interpret the carols in interesting ways, and my husband and I are getting a kick out of it. The other day as we prepped dinner, her version of “Hark!” was “Gloooooooooooooooria! In excelsis green beans!” And I just about keeled over laughing, because of her joy. Her guilelessness. The reminder that in spite of life’s tribulations there’s joy to be found in green beans and maybe some other ordinary things.
Let’s prolong some of that joy. Just for a bit, indulge me, this pause. I’m looking to what will transform me next, in the midst of these tidings, waiting patiently, quietly, for what may make no sound at all, but will change me from the core.