Holiday Impressions – Love

LOVE

We have been working our way around the advent wreath sharing impressions of Hope, Peace and Joy, and now we enter into the fourth week of Love. Christmas is all about Love. This candle is lit to remind us how Jesus, the light of the world, came to show us God’s love.

β€œFor God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,  so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

John 3:16

Holly and ivy commonly appear together as mainstays of Christmas decor. Some say the holly represents the Christ child and the ivy represents his mother, Mary. Others find symbolic meaning in the fact that these plants do not die in winter. In the evergreen leaves of the holly and the ivy, we are reminded of the promise of everlasting life embodied in a newborn babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. No wonder our hearts still thrill with excitement as we see these symbols of Christmas!

The symbolism of the holly and the ivy, preserved by an English folk song written about 300 years ago, has made a Lasting Impression. Traditions may come and go, but for all, the holly and the ivy signal that Christmas is coming, and with it, goodwill and enduring hope.Β 

1. The holly and the ivy,
Now both are full well grown.
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.

Chorus
Oh, the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer.
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

2. The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Savior. Chorus

3. The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good. Chorus

4. The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas day in the morn. Chorus

5. The holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all. Chorus

6. The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown. Chorus

7. The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir. Chorus

Source: Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, Second Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., ca. 1871), Carol #23

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