Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gaudete Sunday

Today is Rejoice Sunday, in the midst of Advent. (It's rather a dark, cold, and snowy Rejoice Sunday, and Advent as a whole, where I live. One could call that "seasonal," but I just hope no family member has an accident on the roads!)

In honor thereof, I have a song that isn't really an Advent carol, because it is a Christmas carol. Christmas songs can't, technically, be Advent songs, because Advent songs have to be anticipatory. They can't include lines like "Christ is born," because in liturgically pure terms, we don't start saying that until after sundown on December 24.

Nonetheless, this is a cheerful Renaissance carol with the word "Gaudete" in it, so here goes:

Here are the words to a more "real" Gaudete hymn, based on Jesus' parable of the wise and foolish virgins. "Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers."

Rejoice, rejoice, believers, and let your lights appear.
The evening is advancing, and darker night is near.
The Bridegroom is arising, and soon He will draw nigh.
Up, watch in expectation: At midnight comes the cry.

See that your lamps are burning; replenish them with oil.
Look now for your salvation, the end of sin and toil.
The watchers on the mountain proclaim the Bridegroom near.
Go meet Him as He cometh, with alleluias clear.

O wise and holy virgins, now raise your voices higher,
Until in songs of triumph ye meet the angel choir.
The marriage feast is waiting, the gates wide open stand;
Rise up, ye heirs of glory, the Bridegroom is at hand.

Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear!
Arise, Thou Sun so longed for, over this benighted sphere!
With hearts and hands uplifted, we plead, O Lord, to see
The day of earth’s redemption and ever be with Thee.

I have not been able to find a good recording of the tune, Greenland, which is by Haydn.