Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Let Loving Hearts Enthrone Him

Far and away my favorite Christmas Carol is "What Child is This?" written in 1865 by William Chatterton Dix at the age of 29 after suffering a sudden, near-fatal illness, that left him confined to bed-rest, and during which he suffered a deep depression.

There have been many interpretations of this beautiful carol over the years, but certainly the recently produced version by Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige is among the most awe inspiring.  What a combination they are.  Andrea Bocelli has the beautiful, disciplined, operatic voice that is only more beautiful by the reverence and love with which he sings the traditional melody.  Mary J. Blige, who many of us have seen on different reality shows, and (afraid to admit it) Oprah know her to be a woman of talent as well as kindness.

I don't often have songs on repeat, as I had post-college roommate once that did this with a certain 10,000 Maniacs single and I had to hide the CD, which was mine for the record, because I could not take it.

Today though I was listening to this song on repeat on the drive in.  Part of the reason for the repeat is if you immerse yourself in the flow and love for Jesus and his Mother, Mary, in the song, you cannot help but have your heart swept to God in thanksgiving and love.  I literally had a lightness and pleasant tingling sensation in the upper part of my head (stay with me) along with tears in my eyes when I listen to this.

What child is this, who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come peasant king to own Him,
The King of kings, salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise the song on high,
The Virgin sings her lullaby:
Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!


  1. Unfortunately in the video, Oprah's thrill at Mary J. Blige nailing a certain part detracts somewhat from the prayer experience. :) You may want to download the song and listen to the audio without that.

  2. She does. It is a shame their version, and so many of the recently recorded versions of this beautiful hymn do not contain the lyrics in the second stanza. Reminds me of Anne's favored author Caryll Houselander, and what might be in her book The Passion of the Infant Christ (1949)if I could find a copy!