Friday, January 1, 2016

The Eighth Day Of Christmas 2015-16

Adoration of the Holy Name of Jesus    Juan de las Roelas, ca. 1604 

Today is the first day of the new year in our Christmastide countdown. In much of Western Christianity today is celebrated either as the Solemnity of Mary or the Festival of the Circumcision and Name of Jesus. The Word for the day is simply one verse, Luke 2:21:

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Here are two music selections to enjoy. The first is Johann Sebastian Bach's cantata for New Year's Day, Jesu, nun sei gepreiset, [Jesus, now be praised.], BWV 41. Those who would enjoy an English translation will find one here.

The second selections is a Welsh carol for New Year's Day set to the music of the British composer, Benjamin Britten. The custom of Levy-Dew derives from an ancient tradition of drawing water from a well and sprinkling it on townspeople as a means of cleansing or preparing them to face the new year.


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