A Rose dispels the darkness.

I didn’t encounter this Christmas carol,  “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” until long past my childhood. For various reasons it is one of my favorites now. Here it is sung in Ely Cathedral:

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 flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

This Flow’r, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

By the time our family brought this carol into our repertoire, several of us would enjoy singing the carol in its original language when we gathered at Christmastime, at least a few times. Even before their father ceased to be one of the singers, the details of our festivities had begun to change. It’s been a while since we have been able to sing as many carols as we would like, usually because of the needs of small children.

This year I will sing it by myself. It will be a good chance to try the German version again and work on memorizing it. The tone and the message are certainly sweet like the loveliest rose. I appreciate the reminder of how Christ ultimately defeated death by his death. God is with us! That’s why every Christmas can be a merry one, and why I’m eagerly looking forward to this feast.

16 thoughts on “A Rose dispels the darkness.

  1. I love this song! I love ALL the Christian Christmas carols, which, like reading the Bible, bring such peace to my heart (especially in this season). I refuse to play a list with Jingle Bells any more!☺️


  2. I’m so fond of the older carols, and this is one of them. Today’s ‘Christmas music’ can be unsatisfying, but between the carols and earlier popular songs (c.1940s – 1960s) the season is certainly made merry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lo, how a rose e’er blooming is one of my favourite carols along with In the bleak mid winter.
    I didn’t know either until I was an adult.
    I hope your Christmas preparations are going well.


  4. My mom had a Christmas album with only the first verse on it when I was a child. I never heard the full song until many years later. It is exquisitely and hauntingly beautiful.


  5. Gretchen…I got a message you ‘liked’ my blog, about ‘loving being 88.’ Did you actually see my blog, or is Word Press looking around for similar blogs, and claiming you saw my blog? I get quite a few of these notices from Word Press, and thought I’d check in with you, to see if these are bloggers I should respond to……would appreciate hearing from you! By the way, I know “Lo, how a rose e’er blooming…” and love it. My blog is more tongue in cheek, but about mental illness, so purposeful as well..


    1. Julie, yes, that was really me – I don’t believe WordPress would do that. If they think for some reason you might like to read a new blog, they occasionally intersperse “Recommended Posts” in WordPress Reader.


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