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Monday, February 26, 2024

A few simple thoughts accompanied by songs of Christmas

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Above / The Riverwalk Civic Plaza welcomes families to experience Christmas Eve along Jackson Avenue at Webster Street while joyous sounds of the season play at NaperLights along Water Street, just across the covered bridge. What a beautiful sight where children are attracted to find narratives about the iconic manger scene with Baby Jesus as well as the Chanukah menorah. (PN Photo, Dec. 24, 2023)

Amid the city’s grand illumination, many enlightening nativity scenes help tell the story of Christmas, the reason for the season, as expressed in “It Came upon a Midnight Clear” and other traditional carols. With grace, love and peace, everyone is welcome to enjoy all the bright wonders in safe and accepting ways, especially on Christmas Eve.

As we take heart in the giving traditions of this glorious remembrance with unexpected last-minute changes; yet, still surrounded by loved ones near and dear, we’ll be taking time to treasure the moments and memories of loved ones no longer with us, one Christmas carol at a time.

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Even without music, the lyrics to familiar carols such as “Joy to the World,” “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” and “O Holy Night” are story-telling songs that remind us to wish you a merry Christmas in simple ways.

In the words of Charles Dickens, “God bless us every one.”

Earlier this week, this home at the corner of N. Webster and Eighth sang its quiet message to passersby. (PN Photo)

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Words by Edmund H. Sears / Tune by Richard S. Willis in 1849

It came upon a midnight clear
That glorious song of old
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold

Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heaven’s all gracious King
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing

Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world

Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing

All ye beneath life’s crushing load
Whose forms are bending low
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow

Look now for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing
O rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing
And hear the angels sing

Nativity scenes in a manger (aka crèche) are known to include the Christ Child, with Mary, Joseph, animals, shepherds, and three wise men bearing gifts. (PN Photo)

Joy to the World

Words by Isaac Watts in 1719 / Tune from “Antioch” by George Frideric Handel, arranged by Lowell Mason in 1848

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let Earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing

Joy to the Earth, the Savior reigns
Let all their songs employ
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love (and wonders of His love)
And wonders of His love (and wonders of His love)
And wonders, wonders of His love

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let Earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing (and Heaven and nature sing)
And Heaven and nature sing (and Heaven and nature sing)
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let Earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing (and Heaven and nature sing)
And Heaven and nature sing (and Heaven and nature sing)
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing

When driving past this brightly illuminated home along Raintree Drive, roll down windows to hear the music of the angels singing. (PN Photo)

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Words by Charles Wesley, George Whitefield and Martin Maden in 1753 / Tune by Felix Mendelsohn

Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king”

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king”

Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king”
“Glory to the new-born king”

Silent night, holy night. All is calm. All is bright. (PN Photo)

O Holy Night

Written in 1843 by poet Placide Cappeau / Tune by Adolphe Adam in 1847

O Holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appears and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees; O hear the Angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night, O Holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the Wise Men from Orient land
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is Peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us Praise His Holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim

Visit the bright cul-de-sac at Sequoia Court along Sequoia Road. (PN Photo)

Caroling, Caroling

Written by Alfred Wihla and primary lyricists Wihla Hutson and Bates G. Burt (Alfred’s father) in 1954

Caroling, caroling now we go
Christmas bells are ringing
Caroling, caroling through the snow

Christmas bells are ringing
Joyous voices sweet and clear
Sing the sad of heart to cheer

Ding, dong, ding, dong
Christmas bells are ringing
(Caroling, caroling, caroling, caroling)
Caroling, caroling through the town
Christmas bells are ringing
Caroling, caroling up and down
Christmas bells are ringing

Mark ye well the song we sing
Gladsome tidings now we bring
Ding, dong, ding, dong
Christmas bells are ringing

Ding, dong, ding, dong
Christmas bells are ringing

Merry Christmas and to all. Celebrate safely with good health, grace and peace.

While the meaning of holiday lights may be different among cultures, many believe that lights symbolize stars, goodness, wisdom and divine energy, acting to raise spirits during the darkest times that arrive with the winter solstice.  Away in a manager…. (PN Photo)

And again, many thanks to everyone who helps make the season bright.

—Positively Naperville

 

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.

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