My favorite Advent hymn

(I’m posting this again this year to redeem the musical selections from our parish this year. Really? “City of God”? Are you serious?)

I doubt this will be played at all but .05% of Masses this weekend, and those will probably be monasteries. But, “Lo, He Comes” is a tune that is both beautiful in its melody and profound in its lyrics. There was a day when I could play this on the organ (it sounds marvelous on the organ at St. Vincent Ferrer in NYC). (The lyrics are Wesley’s, so I’m not guaranteeing doctrinal purity for Catholics.) Enjoy a bit of meditation this beautiful Sunday as we begin our Advent journey.

Lo! He comes with clouds descending,
Once for favored sinners slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending,
Swell the triumph of His train:
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God appears on earth to reign.

Every eye shall now behold Him
Robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at naught and sold Him,
Pierced and nailed Him to the tree,
Deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
Shall the true Messiah see.

Every island, sea, and mountain,
Heav’n and earth, shall flee away;
All who hate Him must, confounded,
Hear the trump proclaim the day:
Come to judgment! Come to judgment!
Come to judgment! Come away!

Now redemption, long expected,
See in solemn pomp appear;
All His saints, by man rejected,
Now shall meet Him in the air:
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
See the day of God appear!

Answer Thine own bride and Spirit,
Hasten, Lord, the general doom!
The new Heav’n and earth t’inherit,
Take Thy pining exiles home:
All creation, all creation,
Travails! groans! and bids Thee come!

The dear tokens of His passion
Still His dazzling body bears;
Cause of endless exultation
To His ransomed worshippers;
With what rapture, with what rapture
Gaze we on those glorious scars!

Yea, Amen! let all adore Thee,
High on Thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory,
Claim the kingdom for Thine own;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Everlasting God, come down!

The organ-only version is here:

Nurre v. Whitehead, cert denied.

Today, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Nurre v. Whitehead, a 9th Circuit case I wrote about here. That case held that a school orchestra was prohibited from challenging a school administrator’s censorship of certain songs at graduation. The students had chosen to play Biebl’s Ave Maria. The school district, however, thought that the instrumental song was overtly religious and did not allow the orchestra to play it.

The Supreme Court’s denial was accompanied by a strong dissent from Justice Alito, who summed up the issues rather well. Continue reading “Nurre v. Whitehead, cert denied.”