Last night, Sr. Lynn Marie and I drove up to Huntsville to attend a performance of the Brass Band of Huntsville. In the midst of a variety of Christmas tunes and hymns arranged for brass, I was surprised to hear the inclusion of the hymn Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming. The tenderness of this hymn just didn’t seem suited to a brass band. And yet they played it with the gentleness of a lullaby.
About midway through, the tubas took over the melody. Who would have thought that four tubas could play as if they were cradling a cloud of fragrance and light? But their care of the melody was so tender, so sweet, so, well, angelic.
Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.