Celebration of Life

December 22 – Winter Solstice

Rev. Sandy McDonald started James Celebration of Life service with reminding everyone of the winter solstice.

“Today is the darkest day of the year, a day of our darkest hours.”

No words could have been better said.

Good King Wenceslas

Why this song at James’ Celebration of Life service? James had the same heart. Please listen to the Skydiggers bluegrass folk version on You Tube.

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel

“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather

“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing


Thanks to James cousin Michael Vaughan and his girlfriend Shin-Jung Nam, both symphony musicians, for playing the bass and cello at the service.

And thanks to James’ Uncle Alex and musical partner & friend Donna Scaglioni for their guitar and vocal contribution to the service.