Bleak and Bright

clouds cold evening freezing
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It’s that time of year again. The time I start rehearsing for another set of Christmas songs meant to inspire the healing balm of Christmas during what is a seriously anyting-but- healing time of year for some people. Those who have suffered the loss of a job or relationship may have a lot more on their mind than twinkly stars, presents and Christmas carols. For some this means the reminder that they are alone. Maybe even alone for the holidays for the first time. 

Three thoughts come to my mind this year as I both process through my own life’s transitions (new job and home) and consider my Christmas music set. 

First, I have a lot to be thankful for. The things I take for granted like a house, car, job, running water, shoes, community, friends and family, are things that could literally be wrapped up in paper and presented as all the gifts I really need. See this video from 2016 created by a North Carolina church that went viral.


Second, I recently read a post a FB friend shared about what the Norwegians do during this time of year and may be proven useful for many of us who think we need to “endure” rather than “enjoy” winter. This article may be more beneficial than peppermint mochas and potato soup.

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Third, how do I bring the healing balm of Christmas to those who are suffering? It’s my job musically-speaking to do this each year when I say, “yes” to singing at the Marlatt Home Christmas Memorial service. I consider it an honor to help people experience a few minutes of joy or a moment of peace as they light their candles to “Silent Night”. What I know is,  while I often find that music is healing and spiritual, good for the brain and all of those wonderful mysteries, I know that it is only God himself that can carry a person through their own bleak midwinter. 


Here is one song I intend to share at the service. It is a beautiful poem later set to music, considered a Christmas carol and written by Christina Rossetti in the late 1800s. You can find the full version in the link below but I’ve included only three verses to share here and as part of my solo performance.


In the Bleak Mid-Winter by Christina Rossetti


In the bleak mid-winter 

  Frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron, 

  Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow, 

  Snow on snow,

In the bleak mid-winter

  Long ago.


Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him 

  Nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away

  When He comes to reign:

In the bleak mid-winter 

  A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty, 

  Jesus Christ.


What can I give Him, 

  Poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd

  I would bring a lamb,

If I were a wise man

  I would do my part,

Yet what I can I give Him, 

  Give my heart.

May your heart be filled with simple blessings this season,

abstract art blur bright

Love, LoriAnne


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