Good Zeal

Lo(w), how a rose…

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.

In this season of wintry darkness, with the night half spent and cold, may we remain watchful and wakeful for the Rose that ever blooms, even in such unexpected ways as the lowest of notes rising with the delicacy of a rose. And may we remember that even in our own low moments and dark nights, and no matter whether our particular notes are low or high or fast or slow, we, too, are called to tenderly cradle the blossom that springs forth like a cloud of fragrance and light.

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.

Back to Blog