Archive for December 11th, 2020


Close your eyes, breathe, and clear your mind. Be still. Center your scattered senses on God’s presence.

REFLECTION: Written by Kathleen Loftman

Last year, as I was going through a difficult time with my mother passing away unexpectedly, I heard a breathtaking new carol for the first time, written by American composer, Christopher Rouse,  who had also passed away during the same timeframe as my mother. The music spoke to my heart. Karolju is a suite of original Christmas carols for choir and orchestra. The work was first performed November 7, 1991 by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Here are the words of the composer, describing the music: “Two paths led to the composition of Karolju. The first was the great body of Christmas carols written over the centuries, a collection I value as highly for its spiritual meaning as for its glorious music. The second was Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, which made an unforgettable impression upon me when I first heard it in March of 1963.  As I wished to compose the music first, …I decided to compose my own texts in a variety of languages (Latin, Swedish, French, Spanish, Russian, Czech, German, and Italian)… It was rather my intent to match the sound of the language to the musical style of the carol to which it was applied. I resultantly selected words often more for the quality of their sound and the extent to which such sound typified the language of their origin than for their cognitive ‘meaning’ per se. I also elected to compose music, which was direct and simple in its tonal orientation, music which would not seem out of place in a medley of traditional Christmas carols. Karolju is … one which I hope will help instill in listeners the same special joy which I feel for the season it celebrates.” Traditions are handed down from one generation to another. Christopher Rouse established a new tradition when he composed Karolju to celebrate his daughter’s first Christmas in 1990. This music can now become a tradition for all of us.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 5:11-12

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;  let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover them with favor as with a shield.

Pause and meditate on the Scripture.

PRAYER:  Written by Henri J.M. Nouwen (1932-1996), a Dutch priest, professor, writer, and theologian.

Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do and seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day, We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!’  Amen.

Click on the link to see and hear the music video.

MUSIC VIDEO:  Christopher Rouse:  Karolju (submitted by Kathleen Loftman)


Read Full Post »