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Posts tagged "Christmas Oratorio"

Demanding a Miracle in 2021

This post comes to us from Alex Sosler, Assistant Professor of Bible and Ministry at Montreat College: I wonder if 2021 seems impossible to you. I know a new year can be a kick in the pants to your dreams and goals … at least for a few weeks. Perhaps you have a sin issue […]

The Post-Christmas Blues and W. H. Auden’s Christmas Oratorio

This post comes to us from Ken Wilson: “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” Emily Dickinson famously wrote, warning that “the Truth’s superb surprise” may be “too bright for our infirm Delight,” too much for many of us to take in. Walker Percy, addressing one of the most difficult communications challenges in the […]

And a Time to Laugh: The Comedy of Christmas in Auden and The Second Shepherds’ Play

Christmas is ridiculous. That’s probably one reason it took the spot of ancient midwinter festivals like Saturnalia, when everything went topsy-turvy. Consider this excerpt from Auden’s For the Time Being, when Simeon at last sees Jesus: SIMEON Because in Him the Flesh is united to the Word without magical transformation, Imagination is redeemed from promiscuous […]

Election Year Wisdom from W.H. Auden

If we were never alone or always too busy,
Perhaps we might even believe what we know is not true:
But no one is taken in, at least not all of the time;
In our bath, or the subway, or in the middle of the night,
We know very well we are not unlucky but evil,
That the dream of a Perfect State or No State at all,
To which we fly for refuge, is a part of our punishment.
Let us therefore be contrite but without anxiety,
For Powers and Times are not gods but mortal gifts from God;
Let us acknowledge our defeats but without despair,
For all societies and epochs are transient details,
Transmitting an everlasting opportunity
That the Kingdom of Heaven may come, not in our present
And not in our future, but in the Fullness of Time.
Let us pray.

For The Time Being; A Christmas Oratorio

We Who Must Die Demand A Miracle: From W.H. Auden’s “For The Time Being”

From the utterly sublime Advent portion of Wystan’s Christmas Oratorio: Alone, alone, about a dreadful wood Of conscious evil runs a lost mankind, Dreading to find its Father lest it find The Goodness it has dreaded is not good: Alone, alone, about our dreadful wood. Where is that Law for which we broke our own, […]