The First Congregational Church of Darien

United Church of Christ

A community of faith since 1737


If I name the poet laureates of Christmastime, Christina Rosetti is near the top of my list.  I adore her quiet hymn, for example, “In the Bleak Midwinter.”  No “Jingle Bell Rock” in there, just the honest calm and everyday wonder of Mary and Joseph off to Bethlehem.

Lo and behold, our Moderator Caroline Burke read Rosetti’s hymn as our prayer to open Council in December. Moreover, I learned that Caroline is from the village of Holmer Green 49 miles north of London.  The cul de sac where she was raised is built on the land that had been property of the Rosetti family. A lovely harmonic convergence there.

Why does this matter? At Christmas a switch turns inside of us from prose to poetry.  For if we can’t find dreamy imagination to temper factual logic, it will all be lost upon us. Here’s another Rosetti poem. Anybody care to set it to a score and give us a new carol?


Christmas Eve –

by Christina Georgina Rossetti

CHRISTMAS hath darkness

Brighter than the blazing noon,

Christmas hath a chillness

Warmer than the heat of June,

Christmas hath a beauty

Lovelier than the world can show:

For Christmas bringeth Jesus,

Brought for us so low.

Earth, strike up your music,

Birds that sing and bells that ring;

Heaven hath answering music

For all Angels soon to sing:

Earth, put on your whitest

Bridal robe of spotless snow:

For Christmas bringeth Jesus,

Brought for us so low.

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