In my Pauses in Advent this year, I’m revisiting some favourite secular Christmas songs, I’m art journalling them and thinking what they can say to us from a spiritual point of view as well.
This week, I’m listening to a song from one of Mr D’s favourite Christmas albums,”Strange Communion” by Thea Gilmore
This has some great Christmas/winter songs on it, both jolly and fun, and also hauntingly beautiful. It is one of the hauntingly beautiful songs that I have chosen for today “Sol Invictus”
According to Wikipedia, Sol Invictus – which is Latin for Invincible Sun – wasthe official sun god of the late Roman empire, and scholars believe that the choice of 25th December for Christmas was to correspond with the Roman festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of Sol Invictus). Whether December 25th is, indeed, the real birth date of Jesus is – to me, at least – immaterial. The early Christian fathers chose a date that had meaning to their listeners, as they linked the Roman god, the Sun who can never be defeated by the wintertime and who rises again victorious in the spring with Jesus, the Son of God, who defeats death and rises from the grave.
Thea Gilmore’s song reflects the belief in the return of the sun, as she sings of “day stretching weary wings”.
Here are my journal pages.
I’m not sure I really need to say more – the words are there for us to reflect on, but the lines “Rise up, rise up! Ever victorious!” are for me a great shout out of victory for the baby who was born to die, and to rise again, victorious over death.
The YouTube video of the song is worth watching, as it was put together by somebody for a church service. The pictures used are very thought provoking, and as the person him/herself says: For some reason marrying a secular / pagan song about being halfway out of the dark with transparently Christian imagery seemed to work.