Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross

Have you ever noticed how much of Good Friday enters into the Christmas carols? One of my favorite songs is “Wood of the Cradle” by Francis Patrick O”Brien.  The lyrics bring together the wood of the cradle and the wood of the cross. It’s important that we realize every feast and season is a celebration of the Paschal Mystery—the whole life of Christ with emphasis on the dying and rising. One of my professors loved to remind us that “Every day is Christmas. Every day is Easter. Every day is everything.” As an experiment, pick up a hymnal or a carol book, and challenge yourself to find the death of Christ (Good Friday) and the resurrection of Christ (Easter) embedded in the Christmas hymns. If you can’t find specific references, you can also look for themes of death, suffering, heaven’s door opening, hope in our fear, freeing the bound, yoke of despair and bondage, rule of compassion, casting out sin, and so on.

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