When I was singing that song

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” 9th century, Latin

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
to those who are grieving
in this holy season.

Come to watchers of an empty chair,
to those cannot bake, much less taste
the sweetness in cookies,
to those embarrassed by tears
in public places,
tossed sleepless when alone,
and counting days till the season,
soaked like a damned fruitcake in memory,
is finally past.

Come, Dayspring, come and cheer,
our spirits by your true advent –
full of fear and loss,
and your absolute ungodlike fragility.
Sit with us, so we are not so lonely,
or, if we are lonely – don’t feel guilty about it.

Remind us that the manger
is really the ultimate Easter moment,
which is about hay, not lilies —
and that, after Bethlehem,
death no longer even had a chance!
amen

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