After two days of cooking (and eating), I dragged myself up this morning and out to choir for 10 am. We had a great turn-out and continued prep for our Christmas gigs: Midnight Mass preceded by half and hour of carols and Christmas Day.
Mass this morning began with O Come, O Come Emmanuel. During the offering, we did a lovely polyphonic chant based on a 7th century text, Conditor alme siderum. For Communion, we sang Jesus Christ the Apple Tree. Here is a beautiful version sung by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge.
The author of the text is unknown, likely 18th century American, and this version was set to music by Elizabeth Poston. The text:
The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.
His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne’er can tell,
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.
For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
‘Tis found in Christ the apple tree.
I’m weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest a while:
Under the shadow I will be,
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.
This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive:
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.