The nobler part of all the house is the heart

Sunday, 1 December, 2013

No on can say for certain when the observance of Advent was first introduced into the Church, but the number of Sundays for the season was set at four 1,000 years ago by Pope Gregory VII. Some 500 years later, the English poet Robert Herrick celebrated the culmination of the events that will be marked today, Advent Sunday.


A Christmas Carol, Sung to the King in the Presence at White-Hall

Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honour to this Day,
That sees December turned to May.

If we may ask the reason, say
The why and wherefore all things here
Seem like the Spring-time of the year?

Why does chilling Winter’s morn
Smile like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like to a Mead new-shorn,

Thus, on the sudden? Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
‘Tis He is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and luster, public mirth,
To Heaven and the under-Earth.

We see Him come and know him ours,
Who, with His sunshine and His showers
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.

The darling of the world is come
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome Him. The nobler part
Of all the house here, is the heart.

Which we will give Him, and bequeath
The Holly, and this Ivy wreath,
To do Him honour, who’s our King,
And Lord of all this reveling.

Robert Herrick (1591 — 1674)

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