Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I shared my delight for Julie’s Greenroom — a show for kids about theater, hosted by Julie Andrews. Tina reviewed The House We Grew Up In and, like me, had to keep reading it to see what happened. I stayed up too late a couple of nights with that book.
This Sunday, the third of Advent, is Gaudete Sunday in Christian liturgy. Gaudete is Latin for “rejoice.” Many churches will hear this scripture:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. Philippians 4:4,5
I love how rejoicing is paired with gentleness. When people are rejoicing, they are called to seek an opportunity to be gentle. It’s not an entirely obvious connection, but I think it works — moments of joy are also moments when gentleness is close.
I wonder if the opposite might also be true. If one is seeking joy, try gentleness.
“Gaudete” is also the name of a very old Christmas carol — published in the 16th century, but possibly dating to the medieval period. It’s not a song that I grew up with — Midwestern Presbyterian churches weren’t really into Latin. But, the British and Irish seem to love this song and I can hear why.
The British folk-rock group Steeleye Span released a single of “Gaudete” in 1973 and it reached #14 on the UK hit charts. That’s rare on two counts. Songs in Latin and songs recorded in a cappella almost never become hits.
Here’s a recording of Steeleye Span’s version, with the words in Latin and English. It’s kind of quiet, so you may want to turn your sound up.
The King’s Singers (the name is from King’s College in Cambridge) recorded a beautifully spare version:
The Irish choral group Anúna filmed this lavish version in Dublin at Saint Bartholomew’s Church. If your sound is still up, you may want to turn it down again — they have a lot of voices!
How are you rejoicing this season?