And is it true? and is it true?
The most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?
And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant.
No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare -
That God was Man in Palestine
And lives to-day in Bread and Wine.
(from 'Christmas' by Sir John Betjemin)
I wish everyone a very happy and blessed Christmas!
I'll wish you a merry Octave too, for I'm not sure when I'll next be posting. Most of Christmas Day will be spent in church and presbytery dining room (where nine of us will be sitting down to turkey et al, including five priests). Then on St Stephen's Day I'm going home for my second Christmas meal. I'm staying there a few days and may post something, though my father's ancient dial-up connection is painfully slow.
Update: We have a rather bare, modern (1964) church, so we did our best in decorating it for the great feast. At least there is a central tabernacle and plenty of space on the sanctuary, both behind and front of the altar.