Affiliate notice

Affiliate links may be included in posts, as on sidebar ads, for which compensation may be received.

Friday, December 26, 2008

First Congregational Church, Nantucket

Here is the First Congregational Church of Nantucket, or more precisely, the interior of the Summer Sanctuary. This is used for worship during the warmer months, as it is unheated. In use during the winter is the Old North Vestry. It seats far fewer worshipers, but there's heat.

The church's tower offers a lovely and unique vantage point for seeing Nantucket, and is open to the public. It is a practical matter of historical study that many of our New England houses of worship are also tourist sites. It may be that sometimes we forget they are also sacred sanctuaries and refuges for reflection. Below, a poem by Anne Brontë, who here ponders the sacredness of "Music on a Christmas Morning." The younger sister of the more famous Brontë girls, Charlotte and Emily, she was also the daughter of poor Anglican clergyman.

"Music On a Christmas Morning"

By Anne Brontë

Music I love--but never strain
Could kindle raptures so divine,
So grief assuage, so conquer pain,
And rouse this pensive heart of mine--
As that we hear on Christmas morn,
Upon the wintry breezes borne.

Though Darkness still her empire keep,
And hours must pass, ere morning break;
From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,
That music KINDLY bids us wake:
It calls us, with an angel's voice,
To wake, and worship, and rejoice;

To greet with joy the glorious morn,
Which angels welcomed long ago,
When our redeeming Lord was born,
To bring the light of Heaven below;
The Powers of Darkness to dispel,
And rescue Earth from Death and Hell.

While listening to that sacred strain,
My raptured spirit soars on high;
I seem to hear those songs again
Resounding through the open sky,
That kindled such divine delight,
In those who watched their flocks by night.

With them I celebrate His birth--
Glory to God, in highest Heaven,
Good-will to men, and peace on earth,
To us a Saviour-king is given;
Our God is come to claim His own,
And Satan's power is overthrown!

A sinless God, for sinful men,
Descends to suffer and to bleed;
Hell MUST renounce its empire then;
The price is paid, the world is freed,
And Satan's self must now confess
That Christ has earned a RIGHT to bless:

Now holy Peace may smile from heaven,
And heavenly Truth from earth shall spring:
The captive's galling bonds are riven,
For our Redeemer is our king;
And He that gave his blood for men
Will lead us home to God again.

For more on Nantucket's First Congregational Church, have a look at this website:

No comments:

Now Available