Thursday, 13 December 2018

Still Through The Cloven Skies ...

...they come with peaceful wings unfurled
So runs Edward Sears' carol, "It came upon the midnight clear" - usually sung to the tune 'Noel' written by Arthur Sullivan.[Gilbert's mate] As a child this word 'cloven' confused me - I only ever heard it in that carol, or wrt an animal [or devil] with a "cloven hoof". Parental explanations about 'cleaving' didn't help much, when I discovered that the verb "to cleave" has two, almost opposite, meanings - either to split or divide [as in hoof, or skies, or bosoms] or "to join or stick to" [as in political opinions, or your tongue to the roof of your mouth]  The first is from the Old English cleofan, the second is from the OE cleofian. Just one letter different.
It wasn't midnight- but just after 6am on Monday, when angels started appearing in Ferndown this week. They shone brightly in the darkness of the early morning [which is more than you can say for some of us who were distributing them]
It is part of our UCF Christmas Angel Blessing. As well as the 35 which are hanging on our Church Christmas Tree, almost 200 more angels have been knitted by willing volunteers and distributed round our streets and in coffee shops, for people to find and appreciate.

Each little angel's tag says "please take me home and look after me" and on the back there is a short blessing. Next week we will put up posters, and messages on social media, inviting people to bring their angels to our Candlelight Carol Service, and then receive a small gift. I cleave to the hope that people will respond to this. 
Here's the whole verse [with one tiny alteration]

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Brexit sounds
The blessèd angels sing.


  1. I had a knitted angel popped through my letter box this week!

  2. That's a lovely surprise gift! I wonder how many other areas are having an 'angel blessing' this year?

  3. Your knitted angels are lovely! I haven't seen any here, though; at least, not in my neighborhood.


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