Monday, December 23, 2013

Advent Music Part 5

Past Three O' Clock has long been a favorite carol of mine. I can't say exactly why (although it is one of the few Christmas carols that mentions cheese); I think partially because it's lesser-known, and thus doesn't get overplayed ever Christmas season. But more so, I think it's because it gets to my favorite moment of Christmas - that quiet, pregnant moment when the world has yet to wake up, when Christmas is set to be sprung but first, there is one last quiet pause. The shepherds are still on the hillside, ma in her kerchief and I in my cap are still settled in for a long winter's nap. The town crier echoes the ancient cry "all is well." And we slumber, gently, and Christmas lays just beyond the horizon, waiting for the sun to rise and all glory to break forth on the earth.

This carol gets at the heart of Advent - Christmas is coming, but just for now, rest. Morning, and with it Christmas, is on the way.

Past three o'clock, and a cold frosty morning,
Past three o'clock, good morrow masters all.

Born is the baby, gentle as may be
Son of the eternal Father supernal,

Sereph choir singeth, angel bell ringeth
hark how they rhyme it, time it and chime it!

Hinds o'er the pearly dewy lawn early,
Seek the high stranger laid in the manger.

Cheese from the dairy bring they for Mary
And, not for money, butter and honey

Thus they, I pray you, up sirs, nor stay you
'Til ye confess him likewise, and bless him.

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