John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Advent 2008: We Three Kings

My Advent project ends tomorrow, on the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as the Twelfth Day of Christmas or Three Kings Day. Epiphany celebrates the arrival of wise men from the East in Bethlehem to pay homage to the newborn King. In years past, I've posted something having to do with said visit on the last day of the project. This time I have something else in mind for that last day, so I'm celebrating it a day early. Whee!

"We Three Kings" is one of the most familiar Christmas hymns, written in the 1850s by the Rev. John Henry Hopkins, Jr., for a Christmas pageant staged by the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City. It should be noted that the author of the Gospel according to Matthew never specifies the number of kings who visited the Christ; he says only that they brought three gifts. Nevertheless, the church has decided there were three of them, and that their names were Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, and that later in life, Gaspar met Jesus again and taught him kung fu. (See Lamb by Christopher Moore for further details on the latter point.) This instrumental version of the hymn is by the jazz giants Miles Davis, David Sanborn, and Larry Carlton, and was featured in the movie Scrooged.

Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Larry Carlton, and Paul Shaffer - We Three Kings (MP3, 4.3MB)

Previous Advent posts:

2004: Journey of the Magi
2005: The Adoration of the Magi
2006: A Merry Christmas
2007: The Three Holy Kings
2008: Hand of the Madonna, Feet of the Child

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