O Little Town Of Bethlehem download full album zip cd mp3 vinyl flac
Neither Mr. Brooks nor I ever thought the carol or the music to it would live beyond that Christmas of The date of Dr. Nor does its appearance in that book imply that the carol passed at that date into general use in Sunday-schools.
But gradually it became familiar in those connected with the Protestant Episcopal Church. By the year it had begun to make its appearance in hymnals intended for use in church worship. This occasioned the composition of new tunes to its words for rival musical editions of that book, and also drew attention afresh to the earlier tune of Mr. It seems, too, to have settled the status of the hymn, recent editors being as reluctant to omit the hymn as their predecessors had been to recognize it.
There is, however, nothing unusual or surprising in this delay in admitting the carol into the church hymnals. Almost all hymns undergo such a period of probation before they attain recognition; and it is for the best interests of hymnody that they should.
In this particular case there was an especial reason for delay. There had to be a certain change in the standards by which hymns are judged before a carol such as this could be esteemed suitable for church use. Init is likely, not even its author would have seriously considered it in such a connection. Phillips Brooks was born in Boston, December 13th, He came of a long line of Puritan ancestors, many of whom had been Congregational clergymen.
His parents became connected with the Episcopal Church, and he was reared in the strict ways of the Evangelical wing of that Church. He had the typical Boston education, the Latin School and then Harvard, from which he was graduated in He was then for a few months a teacher in the Latin School, but there he had the humiliating experience of complete failure.
He soon decided to enter the ministry, and studied at Alexandria Seminary, in Virginia, O Little Town Of Bethlehem. In he became rector of a small church in Philadelphia. Here his sermons attracted much attention, and in he was called to be rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, in the same city.
In that position he remained untilwhen his own leanings toward his native town and the urgency of repeated calls from there led him to accept the rectorship of Trinity Church, Boston. The congregation built for him the great church in the Back Bay, and there he exercised that wonderful ministry with which we all are familiar. In he was elected bishop of his Church in Massachusetts, and after some controversy, occasioned by his broad views in church matters, his election was confirmed and he was consecrated.
But this position he was not to fill for long. The strain of the great work he had been doing had undermined even his giant strength, and after a short sickness he passed away on January 23rd, [at age 58 years]. Bishop Brooks was the most famous preacher and the most widely-loved clergyman of his time.
The shock of his death was felt in every branch of the Church throughout the land, for while many disagreed with his opinions, none who knew him in his work could withhold their admiration. The connection of one so great with hymnody as the writer of a few simple carols intended for children seems at first a little incongruous. It now appears that verse-writing was even a regular habit with him, probably as a relief to feelings his intensely reserved nature could express in no other way.
And he not only loved children dearly, but liked to be their comrade and to get down on the nursery floor and romp with them. But there is another point of connection between Bishop Brooks and hymnody which must not be passed over. Its disclosure was to many one of the surprises of that wonderful biography of his friend by O Little Town Of Bethlehem. And that connection is in the fact that his own mind and heart were stored with hymns, to such an extent and in such a way that they were one of the real influences of his life.
This was a beautiful custom, which called from each one of the children the learning of a new hymn every Sunday, and its recital before the assembled family. In a little book, carefully kept by the father, there was a record of the hymns each child had learned, beginning with William, who had the advantage of age, and had learned the greatest number, followed by Phillips, who came next, and the record tapering down until John is reached, with a comparatively small number at his disposal.
Most of them were from O Little Town Of Bethlehem old edition of the Prayer Book, then bound up with a metrical selection of Psalms and a collection of two hundred and twelve hymns. When Phillips went to college there were some two hundred that he could repeat. They constituted part of his religious furniture, or the soil whence grew much that cannot now be traced. He never forgot them. Its form as first written appears in the facsimile.
It is not until the last verse an offering of direct praise or prayer to God, but is rather a meditation in which the singer addresses the little town itself. Some hymnologists on that account question the propriety of giving it a place among the hymns of the Church. Is the carol really wanting in the form proper for a hymn? This was the usual metre of the old English ballads; and it looks as though Mr. Brooks had been studying the balladists, who had a way of dropping out an accented syllable here and there, and of breaking an occasional line into two by putting an additional rhyme into the middle of it.
Do not these irregularities add to the charm? The "omitted verse" mentioned by Rev. Percy Dearmer and Ralph Vaughan Williams were principal editors, among others, in all three volumes. Brooks to his father dated Saturday, December 30,which states:. My energetic letter-writing has paused for a week. It take it up again to tell you of my tours around Jerusalem. Last Sunday morning we attended service in the English church, and after an early dinner took our horses and rode to Bethlehem.
It was only about two hours when we came to the town, situated on an eastern ridge of a range of hills, surrounded by its terraced gardens. The great church of the Nativity is its most prominent object; it is shared by the Greeks, Latins, and Armenians, and each church has a convent attached to it.
We were hospitably received in the Greek convent, and furnished with a room. The story is absurd, but somewhere in those fields we rode through the shepherds must have been, and in the same fields the story of Ruth and Boaz must belong.
As we passed, the shepherds were still "keeping watch over their flocks," or leading them home to fold. We returned to the convent and waited for the service, which began about ten o'clock and lasted until three Christmas. It was the old story O Little Town Of Bethlehem a Romish service, with all its mummery, and tired us out. They wound up with a wax baby, carried in procession, and at last laid in the traditional manger, in a grotto under the church. The most interesting part was the crowd of pilgrims, with their simple faith and eagerness to share in the ceremonial.
We went to bed very tired. Christmas morning we rode up to town and went to service. It rained all that day, and we stayed in the house. The next morning we were off for our trip to the Jordan This letter contained no further reference to his feelings that Christmas eve in Bethlehem. However, a letter which he wrote from Rome on February 19, to the Sunday-Schools of the Church of the Holy Trinity and Chapel, Philadelphia, disclosed additional thoughts about that night:. I remember especially on Christmas Eve, when I was standing in the old church at Bethlehem, close to the spot where Jesus was born, when the whole church was ringing hour after hour with the splendid hymns of praise to God, how again and again it seemed as if I could hear voices that I knew well, telling each other of the "Wonderful Night" of the Saviour's birth, as I heard them a year before; and I assure you I was glad to shut my ears for a while and listen to the more familiar strains that came wandering to me halfway round the world.
Three years later, it's memory was "still singing in my soul," B and that this was the impetus of the the carol. It was written by Rev. Brooks for his Sunday-school and was sung for the first time at Christmas,to the music furnished by Mr. The hymn and its music at once sprang into popularity, and has since become the property of all the churches, never henceforth to be omitted from any Sunday-school collection.
It appeals to the heart of a child, partly because it was the outburst of a happy spirit. It could not O Little Town Of Bethlehem been written but for those months spent in Palestine inor for the later musings on the sacred scenes in the life of Jesus. It is an exquisitely simple thing, and yet one feels behind the words the existence of a great soul, meditating on the mystery of the divine revelation.
They also worked together on the carol Everywhere, Everywhere, Christmas Tonight. Redner supported himself as a real estate agent. In the United States, the hymn is generally sung to its original tune, ST. Rednera wealthy real estate broker who served as a church organist for his avocation. It is a fenced piece of ground with a cave in it, in which, strangely enough, they put the shepherds. Somewhere in those fields we rode through, the shepherds must have been. The service lasted from 10 P.
The now omitted original fourth stanza seems directed to children: Where children pure and happy Pray to the blessed Child, Where misery cries out to thee, Son of the undefiled; Where charity stands watching And faith holds wide the door, The dark night wakes, the glory breaks, And Christmas comes once more.
It was after midnight that a little angel whispered the strain in my ears and I roused myself and jotted it down as you have it. Regardless of the feelings about the tune, hymnologists on both sides of the Atlantic agree on the poignancy of the text.
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