Christmas Wishes 2000

May Christmas be a happy, holy time for all of our visitors and their families. May the year 2001 be a time of peace filled with an abundance of the Lord’s blessings. Music brings tranquility, peace, joy and even merriment and that’s why it has been such an important part of our culture. Music has always been used by the Catholic Church for praising God, evangelizing and teaching. Many of the saints used songs to relay God’s message especially St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Francis Xavier’s biography tells, “he often used popular tunes with revised lyrics to teach the catechism”. In Lois Donahue’s “Christmas Surprises”, we find “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was a teaching vehicle. As we celebrate the wondrous season of Christ’s birth, we will sing many of the beloved Christmas Hymns.

A very old hymn, though not well known, is “Alma Redemptoris Mater”. Here are the lyrics translated from the Latin:

“Alma Redemptoris Mater”

Loving Mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.