For the past decade or so I have made a virtual Advent calendar of music.Initially, it was a response to the many complaints about having to listen to Christmas music which I read in the blogging community where I hung out in those days. I figured that the problem was having to listen to the same five songs from Thanksgiving till Christmas. Christmas creep has gone so much further now that we’re lucky if we don’t have “Little Drummer Boy” and “All I Want for Christmas is You” in the stores until Halloween.

Advent begins tomorrow, but we need a song of thankfulness for Thanksgiving weekend, and Rutter is always good. This is from the 1980s, so there is that hint of Tony Orlando and Dawn, but it’s still a good arrangement. And of course the words of this hymn cover pretty much everything we should be thankful for.

We don’t sing them all nowadays, but here is the original, written by Folliot Sandford Pierpoint. Pierpoint was a teacher and poet born in Bath, England. The video above is John Rutter’s setting of the hymn.

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Refrain

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.

Refrain

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.

Refrain

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

Refrain

For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.

Refrain

For the martyrs’ crown of light,
For Thy prophets’ eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors’ might,
For the lips of infancy.

Refrain

For Thy virgins’ robes of snow,
For Thy maiden mother mild,
For Thyself, with hearts aglow,
Jesu, Victim undefiled.

Refrain

For each perfect gift of Thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.

Refrain

We’ve been having a fun Thanksgiving. Yesterday we had four dogs and two cats in the house and the day before we had 10 people for Thanksgiving dinner. Today we’re heading out to shop for Small Business Saturday, although I don’t think I need anything else for Christmas. Ornament hooks and strapping tape, neither of which is a likely small business purchase, are the only things on my list. Maybe some stocking stuffers or special foods.

The object is just to have fun with my kids, actually, so it doesn’t matter whether I buy anything or not. It’s been great having #2 daughter home, and even though I see #1 son and #1 daughter fairly often, I’m glad to have had some play time with them.

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