And speaking of Peter Jackson...
Peter Hitchens Muses on the Wind

Third Week of Advent

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour forth righteousness.

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen;
that ye may know me and believe me:
I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour:
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

That last line sounds pretty menacing, and yet in a way comforting, even apart from the words that immediately precede it. Somehow it captures the sense of God being inescapable, whether that's going to be a good thing or a bad thing for you. It makes me think of Christ's warning in Matthew 10:

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

I was into middle age before it dawned on me that the second part of that refers not to Satan, as I had assumed, but to God. There is a pathological fear of God but there is also a very healthy fear of him. The substitution of "awe and wonder" for "fear of God" in current English renditions of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is a mistake.

But this was Gaudete Sunday, not the time for fear. I have a feeling that people who read this blog are likely to have heard Steeleye Span's performance of the old hymn "Gaudete," so here's a different one.

Or maybe you haven't heard Steeleye's, or have heard it but not this live performance, which is not perfect, but still rich:

I've always found their not-upper-class English pronunciation of the Latin charming. 


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I heard a version of this by a boy's choir in the car the other day on the way to work. It's quite uplifting.


I wonder if it was really sung in that lively way liturgically in medieval times. Or was it used liturgically at all?

I wondered that myself.


FWIW Wikipedia says it's a carol, and the article on carols suggests that they were not used liturgically at least until the Reformation.
I remember as a child asking my father why we are supposed to fear God if He is a loving Father. I don't remember the exact words, but his answer was something along the lines of "We should have a healthy respect for Him."

Well said by your father, but I don't think actual fear is necessarily a bad thing, at least if it's caused by knowledge that you've done something wrong.

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