These Things Shall Never Die
The pure, the bright, the beautiful that stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulses to wordless prayer, the streams of love and truth
The longing after something lost, the spirit’s yearning cry
The striving after better hopes, these things shall never die.
The timid hand stretched forth to aid a brother in his need;
A kindly word in grief’s dark hour that proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy softly breathed, when justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart, these things shall never die.
Let nothing pass, for every hand must find some work to do,
Lost not a chance to weaken love, be firm and just and true.
So shall a light that cannot fade beam on thee from on high,
The angel voices say to thee, “These things shall never die.”
This is a poem by Charles Dickens, the English writer of the famous and well-loved Christmas novel, “A Christmas Carol”. On Sunday, March 20th, our men’s Keynote Vocal Group will sing a beautiful setting by Mark Burrows of this poem. When I first came across this music, I was immediately drawn to it by its beautiful melody and arrangement. My interest turned into a deeper connection as I started working on it to prepare for our group’s rehearsal. The arranger did a wonderful job in effectively pairing his beautiful melody with the poem’s words, evoking emotions that help us connect to the music’s message in a higher level. Its words, though seemingly simple, I believe have profound meaning - it brings a message of hope. The detailing of both the positive and the unfavorable, followed by the thought that these things shall never perish, brings the idea of leaving legacies. That even as we pass from this physical world, we leave behind our acts of kindness, memories of laughter, and even sadness, that will help us remain alive in spirit. In this time of uncertainty of dealing with a pandemic and war, I wish that this music will help us not lose hope, that our spirits live on through the good deeds and beautiful memories we’ve made.
- Rey Lambatin, Choir Director
Christ the Good Shepherd
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