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Chesterton Carol – A New Composition by 1P5’s Mark Nowakowski

There is a great deal of grotesquery in the world and in the Church. The controversy over the Vatican Nativity Scene this year — a kind of “art” I have described as “weaponized ugliness” — has certainly driven the point home. (One might quibble with my use of “grotesque,” which implies something comical; that said, I laughed in spite of myself at some of the absurd figures in that scene, not least of which is the strange little nub that is supposed to represent Jesus.)

This week, Dr. Mark Nowakowski, a longtime contributor to 1P5 and a composer of sacred music, has released a new Christmas Carol, setting to music the text of G.K. Chesterton’s poem, “A Christmas Carol.”

Composed by Nowakowski and performed by the Vos Omnes Virtual Choir, it’s a beacon of light in a dark time.

The video follows the text:

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ-child stood on Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.


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