Meridian Chorale Christmas Caroling
Singing Verities Unseen to Gloried Hallelujahs,
The Meridian Chorale Offers Seasonal Wonders for All.
The Meridian Chorale gave our first Christmas caroling event the afternoon of December 21, 2020 with a small group of mask-wearing troubadours singing seasonal songs—socially distanced—in a Meridian Herald friend’s front yard.
I was struck by the excitement our singers expressed in accepting the invitation. They felt so bereft of singing in these Covid times and were especially elated to sing in this joyous Christmastide, so traditionally rich in song. We listeners too sorely miss the singing of our choirs.
But what of the deity to whom western Christianity has for millennia directed song from churches in worship and monasteries through 24-hour daily prayer-chant rituals—now hearing but a still, small voice.
“Humbly, I adore Thee, Verity unseen, who thy glory hidest ‘neath these shadows mean; lo, to thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed, tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud.”
These are among the words we sang. Credited to Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), a doctor of the church, sung to a 17th century French church melody, they are in many hymnals. I leave its literal meaning for each reader to discern, but I suggest that these words invoke a sense of what we might describe as the Christmas spirit. Symbolically, the verities unseen of the ancient chant are coming to light in the African American spiritual, “All Round the Glory Manger,” closing our program with its mighty hallelujahs.
It is very difficult to achieve a beautiful choral sound outdoors. I commend our singers for their devoted artistry in addressing this. We thus hope that on seeing and hearing our caroling video here, you might experience what we sang in the anthem by American composer William Billings:
Me thinks I see an heav’nly host,
Of angels on the wing!
Methinks I hear their cheerful notes,
So merrily they sing,
So merrily they sing.
Meridian Herald wishes you and yours every blessing in this Christmastide and the new year.