toby The dogs are still enjoying the snow, but people are getting a bit tired of it.

Here’s an unfortunate thing: the lovely sweater I spent months knitting for #2 daughter seems to be way too small. I started putting it together last night, after running out of yarn for #2 son’s sweater, and it appears to be too small for any living person.

I’m not sure what to do now, with my knitted gifts derailed. It’s two weeks till Christmas — definitely too late to start over on either of those gifts.

Both the recipients know about their gifts, too. They chose the patterns. I am hoping for some inspiration, and of course that the extra yarn I ordered will a) arrive soon and b) turn out to be the right color. fiona

How about a Magnificat this morning?

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior;

For He has regarded
the lowliness of His handmaiden.

For behold, from this day
all generations will call me blessed.

For the Mighty One has done great things to me,
and holy is His name;

And His mercy is on those who fear Him
from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has exalted the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of his mercy as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.

This is the Song of Mary, from the gospel of Luke, and it has been set to music many times. Here’s a favorite from #2 daughter:

That one is by Grayston “Bill” Ives, formerly of the Kings Singers. He led the Magdalen College Choir for 18 years, and is still alive, composing, and accepting commissions.

Here’s one by Thomas Tallis, a 16th century English composer. He worked as a composer and musician for Henry VII, Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth without being executed, which seems like a bit of an accomplishment. He was Catholic, but managed to stay out of the religious controversies of the day.

Bach, Arvo Part, Monteverdi, Rachmaninoff, Rutter, Tallis — you could listen to one every day in Advent without running out.

Here’s a modern one from Keith and Kristyn Getty, incorporating the Wexford Carol:

We rarely hear people humming any of the Magnificats as they go about their daily tasks, but it’s certainly a popular text on which to meditate.