Thursday, 19 December 2013

Twas in the moon of Wintertime

Christmas Eve Service

It was the Christmas Eve that our adopted child came to live with us.  We attended the local Catholic Church Christmas Eve Service to incorporate her life in ours.

The massive sanctuary was dark lite only by white twinkle lights that were strung from above an animal hide covered tipi and spread out to cover the ceiling: it was Twilight.

‘Twas in the moon of wintertime
When all the birds had fled
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead
Before their light the stars grew dim
And wond’ring hunters heard the hymn:
Jesus, your King, is born;
Jesus is born!
In excelsis gloria!

The sanctuary was filled to over flowing with people hushed as all wait in expectation for the Christmas Eve service.   

The music moved into our consciousness slowly as the volume is increased ever so slowly: 

“Twas in the Moon of Wintertime”

At the same time we become aware of Trapper in traditional clothing and his Aboriginal wife heavy with child working their way up the side aisles of the church.  They have to move around people standing as all the seats were filled.    

They enter the Tipi and all goes silent

 Within a lodge of broken bark,
The tender Babe was found
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapped His beauty round
And as the hunter braves drew nigh,
The angel song rang loud and high:
Jesus, your King, is born;
Jesus is born!
In excelsis gloria!

We hear a woman cry out in pain followed by the soft cry of an infant, and the front flap of the tipi is opened to reveal the mother and babe laying on hides inside being warmed by a small fire as the father stands protectively at the door.

The earliest moon of wintertime
Is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory
On the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt
With gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your King is born, 
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria!

Once again we become aware of the music and notice hide covered figures moving towards the tipi.   

Astonishment is released from the crowd in a sudden out going of breath.  We recognize the three figures painstakingly making their way up the centre aisle.  They are men we walk around every day.  Crippled, socially awkward and dirty we avoid them and move our children quickly past them on the sidewalks.
Their progression up the aisle is slow, they are not using their canes and walkers.  They reach out and grasp one bench and propel their bodies towards the next without falling.  

Half way up the centre aisle hands reach from benches and human hand steady them on their journey to the child.

They reach the family and kneel before the child and offer their gifts

O children of the forest free,
O songs of Manitou
The Holy Child of earth and heav’n
Is born today for you
Come kneel before the radiant Boy
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy:
Jesus, your King, is born;
Jesus is born!
In excelsis gloria!

Everyone in this tableau moves into the tipi the music fades, the house lights are turned on and we silently leave the sanctuary knowing we have witnessed the birth of our Saviour and understand at a deep spiritual level who Christ came to save.

Grandma Snyder
©2013 - 2015 twosnydergirls
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