An invitation was issued by LindaRae Palmer, aka the footnote Maven, to join in her annual tradition of Blog CarolingBlog Caroling is simply “posting the lyrics, youtube video, etc. of your favorite Christmas carol on your blog.” Thanks for the invite fM!  Here goes.

Deer in the bleak midwinter

In the Bleak MidWinter

The incarnation of Christ took place in Bethlehem. Israel at any time of year is nothing like the frosty frozen world described in this carol. However, for the last twenty-three years, I’ve celebrated that miracle in cold, often-snowy Michigan. As it captures my world at Christmas time, In the Bleak Midwinter brings forth a metaphor—the holiest of events taking place when things looked and felt bleak. In an inhospitable world, kings bowed down to the humble babe.

In the Bleak Midwinter

Image courtesy of, Public Domain

The Lyrics

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty —
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom Angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and Archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His Mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am? —
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part, —
Yet what I can I give Him, —
Give my heart.

The carol In the Bleak Midwinter was based on a poem titled A Christmas Carol by Christina Rossetti and published in 1872.  According to Wikipedia, it was first set to music in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Gustav Holst.

Your Turn

What’s your favorite Christmas carol? Why? Tell that story! I’d love to hear it.



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