Happy Boxing Day!
Here is the traditional Irish Wexford Carol, sung by the Palestrina Choir of Saint Mary’s Pro-Cathedral.
When I visited Dublin, I attended services at the city’s three cathedrals: Christ Church, Saint Patrick’s, and Saint Mary’s. Even before the Reformation, Dublin had two cathedrals.
Merry Christmas to those who follow the new calendar. May your Christmastide be beautiful and joyful.
For your gift, Christendom College Choir and Schola Gregoriana sing “What Child Is This?” magnificently:
What a perfect use of the tune “Greensleeves”!
May those on the new calendar have a wonderful Christmas Eve!
A fitting carol for the day is this lovely rendition of the English hymn, “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree,” performed by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge:
The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.
His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne’er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.
For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
‘Tis found in Christ the apple tree.
I’m weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest awhile:
Under the shadow I will be,
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.
This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive;
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.
On the Roman calendar, it is the feast of Francis Xavier—a Jesuit of some personal importance to me. To celebrate the day somewhat fittingly, given the Navarran’s mission to the East, I offer the following. Behold Beethoven’s tribute to Schiller’s poem, sung by thousands of Japanese in “daiku”:
For some background, you may wish to read, “A Weird Relationship between Japan and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.”
It is remarkable to see how well a civilization has embraced the treasure of another. Of course, such borrowing and adoption have happened since the dawn of man. Cross-pollination underlies much of culture. However, those transactions happened in distant ages, and we no longer consider them. However, the Orient remains, in many ways, quite alien to us. It is therefore wonderfully strange to witness the Far East celebrate the canon of the West.
As Europeans fall into barbarism, there may be consolation that the yellow people will keep the flame of the West burning, at least in some ways.