Yes, it's still Christmas.

January 3, 2016, and it's still Christmas? Yes, indeed. Depending upon how the Christian calendar falls, some years there is only one Sunday within the Christmas season of 12 days, and some years there are two. The latter is the case this year.

Of all the Christmas carols in our hymnal The Hymnal 1982, there are a few that we do not usually sing as a congregation. However, some of these carols make great anthems for the choirs to sing, one of which is our anthem for the 10:30 service on Jan. 3. 

"On this day earth shall ring" is an English text adaptation of the Latin carol Personent hodie, a song first published in 1582 in the songbook Piae Cantiones in Finland. The full name of the collection is Piae Cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae veterum episcoporum, literally translated "Pious ecclesiastical and school songs of the ancient bishops."

For decades in the 14th through 16th centuries, Finish and Swedish cleric students had studied at seminaries and universities in Prague, from where this tune may be first traced. The tune also bears great similarity to a 1360 manuscript found in nearby Moosburg (Bavaria/Germany). From these sources the tune eventually made its way to Finland. 

The original 1582 text is:   

Personent hodie voces puerulae,
laudantes iucunde qui nobis est natus,
summo Deo datus,
et de virgineo ventre procreatus.

Let resound today the voices of children,
joyfully praising Him who is born to us,
given by most high God,
and conceived in a virgin’s womb.

Jane Marian Joseph (1894-1929), an English composer, arranger, and music teacher, translated the version that we have in our hymnal today. Ms. Joseph was a pupil and lifetime associate of the composer Gustav Holst. 

On this day earth shall ring
with the song children sing
to the Lord, Christ our King,
born on earth to save us;
him the Father gave us.
Id-e-o-o-o, id-e-o-o-o, Id-e-o
gloria in excelsis Deo!

The keyboard accompaniment figures traditionally arranged for this carol emulate bells in a descending scale, which makes this carol great fun to sing and hear.

Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at 8:00 AM
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