Let me just start by saying that this weekend last year, I was moving all of my worldly possessions from Washington, DC to New York. To say that I’m glad I am not waking up with all of that unpacking is to put it lightly.
I am also glad that I went to church this morning and discovered it the Feast of Epiphany. I love the hymns of Epiphany. As a young child the hymn ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’ ranked among my favorites. And there it remains–high on my list. Aside from the classic imagery of the three kings following the star, it has the classic refrain full of Ohhhh ohhhs. In particular, I love the poetic lines about the glower gift of Myrhh. I mean how ominous to sing this: ‘Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume/ Breathes a life of gathering gloom;/ Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,/ Sealed in the stone cold tomb.’ You can’t help but love it.
You can listen to the tune here.
We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.
Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.
Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worshipping God on high.
Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.
Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Sounds through the earth and skies.