Tags

, , , , ,

We had friends today for Christmas Lunch, it took me about an hour to set the table. I had polished all the silverware a few days ago and all the linens had been ironed.

The menu was classic French Canada fare, tourtières, Ragoût de pattes de cochon avec boulettes, a breast of turkey. For dessert we had mulled wine jellies and Plum Pudding flambé with brandy, a great meal.

Later I watched the Christmas Day message of the Queen, her messages are well crafted and never say more than need to be said on this day. The photos on the desk are related to what the Sovereign is saying, they also convey the message of continuity. This year a photo of her father as a young man in the Royal Navy during the First World War, not yet aware that one day he would become King. Then a photo of a young bride and husband with their first child, the Prince of Wales, who one day will be King. The group photo is of her son HRH Prince Charles on his 70th birthday with the Duchess of Cornwall surrounded by his own children and grand children. Continuity, the Queen is a great-grand mother now. The one absence today HRH Prince Philip who at 96 has retired from the public eye.

Today on Radio-Canada Christmas programming the host tenor Marc Hervieux spoke of his childhood and played this great classic of the Midnight Mass in parishes in French Canada, Ça berger, assemblons-nous. ( Shepherds let’s gather) the singer was one of the very great operatic tenors in Canada in the 1950’s  Richard Verreau (1926-2005). He was a neighbour in Montreal for about 10 years. A wonderful voice with a tragic ending. The Choir is Les Disciples de Massenet, a group with a 90 year history.

 

Such sacred music is muscular and sounds almost like a martial air. It says come let’s go now, nothing is more important, leave your flocks to look after themselves, the Messiah awaits you. There is no greater calling.

Ça bergers assemblons-nous
Allons voir le Messie
Cherchons cet enfant si doux
Dans les bras de Marie
Je l’entends, il nous appelle tous
Ô sort digne d’envie

Laissons là  tout le troupeau
Qu’il erre à  l’aventure
Que sans nous sur ce coteau
Il cherche sa pâture
Allons voir dans un petit berceau
L’auteur de la nature

Ça bergers assemblons-nous
Allons voir le Messie

Cherchons cet enfant si doux
Dans les bras de Marie
Je l’entends, il nous appelle tous
Ô sort digne d’envie

Que l’hiver par ses frimas
Ait endurci la plaine
S’il croit arrêter nos pas
Cette espérance est vaine
Quand on cherche un Dieu rempli d’appas
On ne craint point la peine

Ça bergers assemblons-nous
Allons voir le Messie
Cherchons cet enfant si doux
Dans les bras de Marie
Je l’entends, il nous appelle tous
Ô sort digne d’envie

 

Advertisements