I was kind of shocked to learn today of the death of the incredibly talented Irish singer Dolores O’Riordan at the age of just 46.
This beautiful Christmas carol originated in Austria, in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, where it was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber set to lyrics by Joseph Mohr. The year of composition has been given as 1818–almost exactly 200 years ago. Silent Night has been recorded by a large number of singers and performers , and in 2011 was declared an expression of “intangible cultural heritage” by UNESCO.
[ Ed. note – The Easter season is upon us. As we pause and reflect on the events of that week of 2000 years ago I thought it would be worthwhile to put up an article I first posted back in 2014. ]
The dogwood tree explodes into riotous bloom each year on Easter Week. Strangely, this remains true, year after year, regardless whether Easter falls in March or April–it is always, always Easter week that the dogwood petals reach their maximum opulence.
Eight Years On: Gaza’s Still Fresh Wound
Eight years have passed since Israel launched its war on the Gaza Strip, known as the battle of the Furqan, and named by Israel “Operation Cast Lead.” the Gaza Strip is still suffering from the consequences of that war, which lasted for 23 days.
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.