Songs of Advent 3

Another take on the story of Mary comes from an old folk carol ‘Gabriel’s Message’. Apparently it originated in Basque, the ancestral language of a deeply religious people spread across northern Spain and southern France.  It’s English version didn’t arrive until the late 19th century.

These are the words:

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
‘All hail,’ said he, ‘thou lowly maiden Mary,
most highly favored lady,’ Gloria!

‘For know a blessed Mother thou shalt be,
all generations laud and honor thee,
thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,
most highly favored lady,’ Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
‘To me be as it pleaseth God,’ she said,
‘my soul shall laud and magnify his holy Name.’
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ,
was born in Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
and Christian folk throughout the world will ever say,
‘Most highly favored lady,’ Gloria!

What’s fun to me is that two of our deacons at Collins Street, Roz Otzen from the morning congregation and Nigel Smith from 5pm, both name it at the top of their Advent song list. Let’s just say there’s a slight generational difference! So here’s two versions of the same song, one with the choir of Kings College in Cambridge. And the other with Sting. Take your pick!

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