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As you read and reflect, you will be asked to consider the meaning of some of the famous Christmas carols that we sometimes sing without a passing thought. You will be introduced to obscure saints as well as living poets and musicians of faith, and you will hear the timeless truths of love and forgiveness, pain and loss, darkness and light.
"If, like me, you have always been confused by the imagery of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas,' you will find this book both compelling and illuminating. Gordon Giles has selected a kaleidoscopic mixture of musical settings of scripture, hymns and carols, from Gibbons to Taize, Plainchant to Kendrick, via Bach, Berlioz, Vaughan Williams, Menotti and many others. He writes with engaging insight and perception, providing us with material for reflection, prayer and meditation."John Scott, Organist and Director of Music, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York City
Number of Pages: 120
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2006
|Dimensions: 8 X 5.38 (inches)|
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Like most devotionals, the book offers daily readings and meditations. It goes from the beginning of December to the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 6. The centerpiece of each day's reading, however, is an exploration of the history and spiritual significance of a beloved piece of Christmas music.
Many songs will be familiar ("Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," "Good King Wenceslas"), but readers will also discover unfamiliar treasures, such as a translation of the words of the "Christus Vincit," an 11th-century chant.
The book also offers an explanation for "The Twelve Days of Christmas." The pear tree may symbolize the cross, for example, and the partridge Christ's sacrifice - the bird is known for protecting its young. The song, published in 1780, was primarily "a singing game in which anyone who forgot a verse had to pay some kind of forfeit, such as kissing someone or performing some absurd action." Mary A. Jacobs Dallas Morning News December 2, 2006
Record-Courier November 28, 2006