So here’s a question for you as Advent gallops towards us: why do so few of Poland’s rich treasury of Christmas carols (Kolędy in Polish) find a place in English-language hymnals. Even most American Catholic hymnals have very little from this tradition, and it’s rare in Protestant hymnals to find anything at all except “Infant holy, Infant lowly” (W żłobie leży). Today at Fremont Baptist we practiced about ten of these, looking for two or three to use during Advent. The one that utterly captivated me was Śliczna Panienka, the Carol of the Hay, with the line (in the English version we sang) “You are the cradle / For the Son of Mary”; I’m not convinced that the Polish text quite supports this reading, but I love it. (“You” here addresses the hay on which Mary lays Jesus.) I think if we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, there is no good reason why we cannot also be the hay of the stable….




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