". . . Each year at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Monsignor Hession would rise before the Christmas Eve Mass and sing William Harold Neidlinger's The Birthday of a King. Even in his old age, Monsignor's tenor voice rang out, echoing the songs of the angels.
"More than a quaint memory, his performance was deeply convicting. For him the song was the Christmas anthem. When Monsignor bellowed, 'Alleluia! O how the angels sang,' I felt like singing too. Even as old age exercised its quiet tyranny and began to curb his musical gifts, his sung proclamation of the nativity rang no less true.
"But it wasn't just Monsignor's heartfelt rendition that made Christmas. Draped in its late-Victorian trappings, Neidlinger's hymn proclaims the mystery of the Nativity of Christ. It was an announcement of something deeper at work. For beyond homecomings and children's choirs and decorations and gift giving, there was mystery. There was joy. This great feast was the birthday of our King.
"This Christmas it is tempting to believe that the songs of the angels have waned. Will our Alleluias be muted? Will the rejoicing of heaven be any less great?"
recent commentary, Father Patrick Briscoe, O.P.,
reflected on how, during this year's Christmas celebration, "the most genuine, most heartfelt things are still worth singing of. "
To access Fr Patrick's complete post, please visit:
Aleteia: Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP: If we ask for faith, hope, charity, what will we see? (23 DEC 20)