Christmas Bells: Peace on Earth & Good-will!

20 Dec

One of the bells in the carillon at Holy Ghost Church

Dear Friends,

As we prepare to celebrate the Holy Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was born into a world filled with turmoil, dissension, and darkness, I want to share a poem by American educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, written during the chaos of the Civil War in the United States.

It’s a message of faith and hope to us Christians (who also now live amidst national tumult) that our Messiah comes to bring peace, to make His peace possible—first in each of our hearts, next between the brothers and sisters of our country, and then among the peoples of the world.

Please celebrate the Coming King of Peace with us by attending services: Christmas Eve Vigil, December 24, at 4 p.m. and Festal Divine Liturgy, December 25, at 9 a.m.

We will be ringing out our own wonderful bells on Christmas Day to proclaim: “Peace on earth and good-will!”—just as Longfellow states in his poem, printed below.

With love in Him, Fr. John Jillions, Pastor 

Christmas Bells

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow , 1807–1882

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”


Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Christ is born! Glorify Him!


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