About "The Welcome Carol"
This new composition was performed for the first time during the annual Holy Trinity Church School Christmas Pageant at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Pitsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, December 20, 2020. Due to COVID restrictions, it was recorded with separate tracks which were then produced and included as part of the parish's first-ever "viritual Christmas Pageant."
The music for the carol has been adapted from an old traditional Welsh lullaby and arranged by Steve Cole. The lyrics are an original composition by Steve and his wife, Jill. So how it become a new carol inspired by Orthodox Christian hymns and theology?
As Steve describes it, "I heard it one time and said, 'This should be a Christmas Carol!' so I searched and found out, nope, it's just a simple, lovely lullaby, and I said, 'But it HAS to be a Christmas Carol! It can't NOT be a Christmas Carol!' So the conviction formed in my mind that, though I don't write lyrics very often, but I'm so inspired by the hymns of the Church and your heart and mind are so full from the profound tradition of our hymns, I said, 'I think there's material here that I could use to make this a Christmas Carol.' The most important part for me is that it's titled 'The Welcome Carol,' and we see during this Nativity season that Christ was welcomed by His mother, the wise men, the shepherds, the angels, and that He welcomes us unto Himself."
Blessed Mary greets her newborn with a tender lullaby
While the gathered hosts of heaven hail his holy birth on high.
Startled shepherds rush to meet him, this the baby Mary bore.
Star-led wise men come to worship infant Jesus Christ our Lord.
He who fashioned all creation, Word of prophets long foretold,
Now is cradled by his mother, safe within her swaddling folds.
He whose manna fed his people in the barren wilderness
Finds a respite from his hunger only at his mother’s breast.
Filled with wonder, we behold him and are met with mystery.
The eternal king of glory comes, a babe like you and me.
Here, a humble stall is heaven, Virgin Mary, heaven’s throne.
Christ, forsaking royal splendor, comes to win us for his own.
Through his timely earthly sojourn, he will save us by his life.
He will find us, worn and wayward, cleanse our sins and heal our strife.
He will lead us on the right paths and will feed us on the way.
He will fashion us for heaven, there to welcome us one day.
Score, Performance and Permissions
The four-part (SATB) musical score for "The Welcome Carol" is available by request.
Permission is granted for non-profit ecclesiatical use with authorship and copyright notices required. All other uses require specific written permission. Commercial or for-profit use is prohibited.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!