The photo on the cover, provided by Hans Kaarde Gundesen, organist at Tarm Kirke in western Mid Jutland, seemed appropriate for this Christmas issue, which includes some material sourced from Denmark, some Grundtvig references (note the Grundtvig book on the shelf in the photo), a few articles with a sense of nostalgia as comes with the tradition of arranging a home nativity scene, and, of course, a Christmas theme in many pieces.
The Grundtvig Christmas hymn “Velkommen igen, Guds engle små” gets an appreciable amount of attention, starting with an excerpt from the 1945 book Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark by J.C. Aaberg that includes his English translation of the hymn. A more recent translation into English by Edward Broadbridge appears opposite the original Danish lyrics and shows the creativity required for a translation to retain the sense of the original and still be poetic. The article “Christmas Sorrow Is No Crime” is a translation from the original article in Danish by Anne Korshom and takes the same Grundtvig hymn as its point of departure.
The sermon “Tonight It Is Filled” also addresses sorrow at Christmas, Little did Fr. Michael Marsh have any idea of the sorrow that his community would feel this year when he preached this sermon last Christmas Eve in his congregation in Uvalde, TX.
In “A Blessed Christmas,” Ed Madsen recalls Christmas in 1973 and how, despite those troubling times in the country, it became an especially memorable experience thanks to Maria von Trapp, the nanny-turned-mother of the von Trapp Family Singers, who gained fame in the movie “Sound of Music.”
Erik S. Hansen muses on the power of song in his article “Melodies of Life” and offers websites to hear songs to which he refers, including both a sentimental favorite and one in the style of rap. This article is on the Church and Life website where links to these websites are easily accessible from within the text.
The next two articles, “Patches of Life” by Ellen Fensholt Sorensen and “A Treasured Christmas Letter” by Juliane Nielsen, were actually written decades ago. They both show how these two women in their later years have remained engaged in life with a spirit of gratitude.
Both these women attended the Danebod Folk Meeting to which Joel Mortensen, as a member of the planning committee, encourages people to attend in 2023. Then Ricke and Jerry Bly provide news about efforts to upgrade the Danebod campus and activities that have returned as people are more comfortable gathering again.
Ruben Strandskov, from Luck, WI, was noted not only for his joy of gatherings but also for his stance as a conscientious objector in WWII. Part 2 of “Considerations of Conscience” continues with his experience as a noncombatant.
Finally, the lives of Sonja Agnete (Strandskov) Richardson and Don Lenef, both recently departed, are warmly remembered.
The many gift contributions in memory and in honor of people are truly appreciated as is your continuing support through renewals and gift subscriptions.
As this somewhat longer issue is for the observance of the twelve days of Christmas, the next will be a combined January/February issue. Until then….
Glædelig Jul og Godt Nytår!
Bridget Lois Jensen