A Book of Possibilities

Painting of a girl by a stream, surrounded by orbs, by Gilbert Williams

There was a girl
by a stream
who wrote a book
of possibilities.
She left her heart
on every page.

She painted the world
with a palette of stars
and a canvas of
earth and sky.

And she sang a secret hymn
to the trees and the flowers
and the birds—
a song only she could sing—
and the stars heard
her song, a song
pure in heart.

And Heaven was
very near to her,
the home of her
dearest Friends,
and she loved
every living thing
and knew all their
names by heart.

Michael James Fitzgerald

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols — December 24, 2019

a5d46-kingscollegechapelSince 1918, a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols has been a special Christmas Eve service held in King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England. Now in it’s 101st year, it is broadcast to millions of people around the world. The service is always opened with “Once in Royal David’s City” followed by many other traditional carols, interspersed by Bible readings.

Construction of King’s College Chapel began in A.D. 1446 under King Henry VI, and was opened in A.D. 1515 under the reign of Henry VIII.

You can read more about the service here and listen live here (8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. MST, December 24, 2019).

Dashing Down the Aisles

Santa pushing a shopping cart.To the tune of “Jingle Bells.”

Dashing down the aisles,
with a three-wheeled shopping cart.
I always wait too long.
It isn’t very smart.

Cash registers ring,
Making wallets light.
Oh what a thrill it is to be
shopping late tonight.

Oh, I feel bad, my family’s mad,
I think I’ve lost my mind.
Too late to shop on Amazon
I’m always way behind. Hey!

Full of  doubt, all stressed out
The time has slipped away.
What a drag it is to shop
the brick-and-mortar way.

Michael James Fitzgerald

“There Is Faint Music” by Dan Forrest — University of Utah Singers

I love this performance of Dan Forrest’s “There Is Faint Music” by the University of Utah Singers conducted by Dr. Brady Allred.

There is faint music in the night
and pale wings fanned by silver flight.
A frosty hill with tender glow
of countless stars that shine on snow.

A shelter from the winter storm,
a straw-lined manger safe and warm,
and Mary singing lullabies
to hush her Baby’s sleepy sighs.

Her eyes are fixed upon His face,
unheeded here is time and space.
Her heart is filled with blinding joy
for God’s own Son, her baby boy.

Of countless stars that shine on snow
for God’s own Son, her baby boy.

[First posted in December 2015.]

“In the Bleak Midwinter” Performed by James Taylor

I love James Taylor’s arrangement of “In the Bleak Midwinter.” Courtesy of Spotify.

 

In the bleak midwinter,
icy wind made moan.
Earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone.
Snow on snow had fallen,
snow on snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter,
long and long ago.

Angels and archangels,
may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim
rising  in the air.
Oh but only Mary,
in her maiden bliss
worshiped the Beloved
with a mother’s kiss.

Heaven cannot hold Him
nor can earth sustain.
Heaven and earth shall fall away
when He comes to reign.

What then can I give him,
empty as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man,
I would know my part.
What then can I give Him
I must give my heart.

[First posted in December 2015.]

Free Audio Recording of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol

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Here’s a free, dramatic reading of one of my favorite Christmas books, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. (I wrote about A Christmas Carol in a previous post.) The award-winning Carol is narrated wonderfully by Bruce Newbold, with Bryce Chamberlain, the father in the original 1964 version of Man’s Search for Happiness, playing a convincing Scrooge. I listened to the whole thing in one day (it’s 3 1/2 hours long). It’s downloadable by the way. An undeniable classic.

[An earlier version of this post was first published in December 2017.]