little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
– e.e. cummings (1894-1962)
I have always loved Christmas. I grew up in semi-rural northwest Ohio. The church our family went to was close enough that we always walked. A Methodist church. When I was little, it was a white frame building with an outdoor toilet. When I was about 12, this (small) wooden church with a steeple (across from the Township House, where we would go for Sunday School) was torn down, once a larger brick building was built – just to the east. This new church had indoor plumbing; the bathroom smelled much better.
But we were still in the old church, when I began singing in the choir. (There was no children’s choir.) My mom, who sang alto in the choir, informed me one day that I would be singing in the choir. This seemed outrageous to me and ‘out of the question’. I was very upset. I cried about it. It never occurred to me, however, that I could decline this invitation. So I did it. There were no other children in the choir. But I soon found out that – I could do it … and that I liked it. This choir had some very talented singers; and the songs were mainly enjoyable. It was fun.
Christmas songs, though, are special. Many of them are (truly) inspired works. Did you know that G. F. Handel refused to accept payment for his “composition” of the Hallelujah Chorus (which is the ending of “The Messiah”). He says the room was full of angels; and he just wrote down what he heard them sing.
There are quite a few ‘Christmas songs’ which I do not really care for. Mainly because I feel they do not carry the (real) Christmas Spirit. If you happen to feel the same way, you may wish to make use of these (following) songs this year –
[The fifth one (Feliz Navidad – dance recital) is not here because it is a Christmas song, but because of the (priceless) dance performance of the children. A few others in the list are not actually Christmas songs at all, yet I include them. The fourth one (Túrót eszik a cigány – Kodaly) is about Gypsies; but it is proclamatory, and exultant. The tenth one (Wexford Lullaby – John Renbourn) is not a Christmas song (though its tune became the Wexford Carol); but it is Human and deep and luminous. A couple dozen in, (Sacla’ – school lunch) is not a Christmas song; but it is wonderful – dramatically and musically; and it’s Education on a very high level. Four further in, (La Nuit – from ‘Les Choristes’) is about the Night; but it’s essential energy is excellent.
These are from last year’s Christmas blog – https://www.worldfamilytrading.com/Christmas/ .
And, of course, there’s a chance you may wish to make use of the ‘ritual’ (w/ readings) which I put there. ]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_3-haTEFrU (Some Children See Him)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L_Yc-rWHvQ (The Blessed Son of God – Ralph Vaughan Williams)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3s-Q1zyxYE (Balulalow, Britten)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPpYEHwq-u8 (Túrót eszik a cigány – Kodaly)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPFvJgQqZb0 (Feliz Navidad – dance recital)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBDFMD5kLvc (Carol of the Bells – Ukrainian)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwEp6F3GLkA (Отче наш, Otche Nash, Lord’s Prayer, Our Father – Slavonic Hymn)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyFkPd6fEuI (Hymn of the Cherubim – Tchaikovsky)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxDZjg_Igoc (Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss – The Wexford Carol)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts4AxTD7ctc (Wexford Lullaby – John Renbourn)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCWN5pJGIE (Mary, Did you Know?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Zx9JA2DOow (Lullay Myn Lyking, Holst)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0mT-zNxRMw (African version of Little Drummer Boy)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKzkCldvB-w (God is Love – Goethe and Holst)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU-E46o0sp0 (Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6IG6F6E5Ac (The Huron Carol)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJRzB-buX0k (The Huron Carol, Christmas at Saint Marie [45 minutes])
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjaN7DB7Pd4 (Past Three O’Clock)
.youtube.com/watch?v=SGeC_8VA4h8 (Adam Lay Ybounden – Westminster Choir)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6S6EXxL_Lw (Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella & Patapan)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nABowLcQlHc (A Soalin’ – P P & M)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fpspzcrlGY (The Boar’s Head Carol)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNgCM7zp30M (Sacla’ – school lunch)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wit-jGD4wCw (Coventry Carol – ANÚNA)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4fMbPMdWs4 (This Little Babe – Britten – the Julie Gaulke ‘Choir’)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=999slUsTCpw (Fum Fum Fum)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vel-9_wA_WQ (La Nuit – from ‘Les Choristes’)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTQKU6uUBjU (O Holy Night)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYstefPL8VI (I Wonder As I Wander – Eleni Voudouraki)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3iYnHx8P0s (The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father): A Russian Orthodox Liturgical Work by Nikolay Kedrov, Sr.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td7OlabxlXY (Good King Wenceslas – King’s College Choir – Prague Christmas)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c95ikxkv0KQ (ГЕНДЕЛЬ – “Аллилуйя”)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IEuxKCB6o8 (A Ceremony of Carols – Benjamin Britten)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYVoAKvDsLU (Angels We Have Heard on High)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RlMuRYvndU (Angels We Have Heard on High [w/ stained glass church windows])
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRDtZeJzLi8 (Silent Night, Celtic)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_6XMMzHZ7c (I Wonder As I Wander – McDermid)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzQO4L_OKQA (Mary, Did You Know? – The Hound + The Fox)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYvw7jm-lsw (Praise the Lord – Rachmaninov)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgFyokgV1Ls (“Our Father” – Rimsky-Korsakov)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTQKU6uUBjU (O Holy Night – Libera)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBOMVLd7wYg (Russian Orthodox)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGR4Lj8cpYs (Carol of the Bells [using real bells])
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lwqdyVJuYA (The Holly and the Ivy)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbJ-X_-1YbQ (What Child Is This?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1hegkE9Lb0 (Angels We Have Heard On High)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGI4cqItD6U&index=2&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw (God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYoAhVW4B4g&index=4&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw (Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Xt5SjHbBA&index=7&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw (Good King Wenceslas)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTsknFSV-Zk&index=9&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw (In the Bleak Midwinter)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv9-m-xDvwk&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw&index=5 (Good Christian Men, Rejoice)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIA7uYQX2HA&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw&index=17 (Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3raTXZ_hPk&index=29&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw (And the Glory of the Lord)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-Rv-J46gvM&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw&index=30 (The Angel Gabriel [Old Basque Carol])
[movie: “The God Child Came” (DVD available from https://globalchangetools.org/collections/video)]
But four decades after my (happy) beginnings with real choral singing (at the old Shawnee Methodist Church) … I found myself in a religious order in Arizona. And I did that work there for 17 years. It was not easy. Global Community Communications Alliance is not a resort – (a place where rich people go to relax and have fun). For one thing – everyone attends evening classes; so I learned some things (mainly, from my Urantia Book studies). And, while what I learned there did not essentially change my understanding of Christmas, it enlarged and contextualized Christmas for me. And (because we are all Family) I wish to offer you some of that information.
The Grand Universe is big … and old … and full of many orders of beings (and we are familiar with only a few of these) We happen to be familiar with Jesus (of Nazareth). But long before he was born as a babe in Bethlehem, he was begotten (in single ‘birth’) – a being of Paradise origin. Of the order of Michael. (because there was an original one, whose name was Michael. And so, all others of that order are said to be of the Order of Michael. These are the Creator Sons. There are (more than) 700,000 of such beings. Each (of the 700.000) are commissioned (along with a Creative Daughter) to create an entire “Universe” (comprised of 10,000 habitable worlds, and all the beings inhabiting them) In our universe (of Nebadon – which is approximately the Milky Way galaxy) Jesus Christ Michael (and his complement, our Universe Mother Spirit) are our spiritual parents. He is “God” in this universe. And such a divine pair rule their universe (the 10,000 worlds of their creation).
Prior to assuming full sovereignty of his universe, a creator son must bestow himself in the likeness of seven of the (different orders of the) creatures of their own making. And they are given some latitude (with respect to which orders they will incarnate as, and in what order … except that) it is a standard requirement – that the 7th (& final) bestowal – be as a Human. (as it is understood that the human life is the most difficult). Also (though they are permitted to show up as a mature being, of whatever order, in the first six bestowals) … in the 7th bestowal, they are required to be born as a (helpless, human) baby.
Besides this, each creator son must take an oath – swearing that they will NOT assume full sovereignty of their (already created) universe … till fully completing the seven (requisite) bestowal lives, and then being granted full approval. (Never has it happened, in the long history of the Grand Universe – that a Creator Son DID assume sovereignty of his universe prematurely. But it COULD be done; so, the vow is required.)
[ref: The Urantia Book, Paper 119 (p. 1308) – The Bestowals of Christ Michael]
Once a Creator Son has gone through all seven of the requisite bestowal lives (and have been fully approved) … they are given permission to assume full sovereignty of their Universe … after which there’s a big party (on the universe headquarters world), at which the creator son publicly acknowledges his complement as his equal.
And after this, he becomes a Master Son. He is reckoned as a new order of being.
A Michael Son chooses the time and planet of his various (required) bestowals. In our case, Jesus Christ Michael chose (for his 7th & final bestowal) to incarnate on Urantia (the Earth) at the time of the Adamic default (about 37,000 years ago … that is,he showed up here 2,000 years ago, but he made his choice at the time of Adam & Eve.). As this planet had already suffered a rebellion (a few hundred thousand years earlier – the “Lucifer Rebellion”) he knew (with the additional hardship of the Adamic default) that this planet would be in considerable darkness … affording a “good backdrop” for his bestowal.
But I think it should also be noted – that in the whole long history of the Grand Universe … this is the only time – that a creator son was killed by his own creatures (during a bestowal life). And because of this extraordinary and outrageous occurrence, this planet has become known (among our neighboring inhabited planets) as “The World of the Cross”. [ref: Urantia Book, p. 2016]
Even so … this is a Bestowal Planet. And Christmas (2019, by our reckoning) is one week away. Let us all do what we can do – to prepare ourselves for the upcoming Planetary Event … when the whole Earth will (for a day or two) upshift … and we’ll be in the First Stage of Light & Life.
It’s a real thing. We can all feel it.