Behold a rose of Judah. From tender branch has sprung, From Jesse’s lineage coming, As men of old have sung. It came a flower bright Amid the cold of winter When half spent was the night.
Isaiah has foretold it,
In words of promise sure,
And Mary’s arms enfold it,
A Virgin meek and pure.
Through God’s eternal will
She bore to men a Savior
At midnight calm and still.
Text: 15th Century; Melody: Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen
We sang this centuries old German hymn today at morning prayer, December 20. At Mass Luke’s Gospel announced to Mary, the “rose of Judah”, that she was called to be the mother of the Lord and she said yes. Here’s a rendition from YouTube.
I went out to our Mary Garden afterwards and, sure enough, a rose was there, in fact a number of them. One brought by someone who came to pray, the others growing in the cold of winter. I also noticed some marigolds, “Mary’s gold”, still there. We feed on centuries of faith during this season.
Brother Michael Stomber said the other day he can’t celebrate Christmas without singing a Christmas carol attributed to the St. John de Brebeauf, the Jesuit martyr who brought faith to the Huron tribes in Ontario, Canada, centuries ago. So I asked him to sing it. Here he is: