Advent Calendar | Dec. 1

24 Days Until Christmas

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bibleSCRIPTURE

“Let them praise God’s name with festive dance; let them sing praise with timbrel and harp.” (Psalm 149:3)
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DECK THE HALLS

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

harpistDon we now our gay apparel,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Troll the ancient Yule tide carol,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

See the blazing Yule before us,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Follow me in merry measure,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
While I tell of Yule tide treasure,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Fast away the old year passes,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Sing we joyous, all together,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Heedless of the wind and weather,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

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ABOUT THE CAROL

“Deck the Halls” began in Wales in the 16th century. The music was called the “Nantgarw Flower Dance” and belongs to the canu penillion tradition in which merry-makers would dance in a ring around a harpist, making up verses in turn and dropping out when they failed. The harp originally played the “answering” bars, but harpists became less common and nonsense syllables (“fa la la la la”) were substituted. The original connection with dancing is hinted at by the phrase “follow me in merry measure” as “measure” is a synonym for dance.

In the 18th century the tune spread widely, with Mozart using it in “Sonata No. 18,” a duet for violin and piano. The composition was published, with both Welsh and English lyrics, in the 1784 and 1794 editions of “Musical and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards.” The current lyrics are about a century old and of American origin. They may have come from Welsh miners who emigrated to the Appalachian Mountains.

Sources:

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praying-hands-columnPRAYER

God of mirth and happiness, may we remember the joy of this season. And may we remember the reason for our joy — the coming of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
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