“Merry” Christmas and Good King Wenceslas

A favorite copy of a book on the Story and Carol “Good King Wenceslas” illustrated with Christopher Manson’s beautiful woodcuts Here is the Book

“The word ‘Merry’ is from an old Anglo-Saxon word which literally meant ‘valiant,’ ‘illustrious,’ ‘great,’ or ‘mighty.’ Thus, to be Merry was not merely to be ‘mirthful,’ but to be joyously strong and gallant.

In Shakespeare we read of fiercely courageous soldiers who were called ‘merry men.’ Strong winds were ‘merry gales.’ Fine days were marked by ‘merry weather.’

So, when we wish one another ‘Merry Christmas,’ we are really exhorting one another to take heart and stand fast! Merry Christmas!”

From the dear Dr. George Grant, Parish Presbyterian Church, New Franklin College, King’s Meadow Study Center

Lyrics to “Good King Wenceslas”:

“Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel

“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather

“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.”

Here is a quick and jaunty video rendering, best taken with tea and cake:

And here is a longer version, completely dramatized and narrated in story form. Gather the whole family together for this one! ✨?✨?✨

Merry Christmas to all!

With kindest regards, Nancy


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