Each Winter as the Year Grows Older

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Our hymn of the month for December is Each Winter as the Year Grows Older ( ELW 252).  It was written and composed by William and Annabeth McClelland Gay who, since their marriage in 1949, have created a new hymn text and tune each year as part of their Christmas greetings to friends and family.  The text of this hymn was for their Christmas letter in 1969, at the height of the war in Vietnam when many people were seriously proclaiming the “death” of God. 

In a letter to Marilyn Kay Stulken, William wrote, “. . . the ‘sirens’ in stanza 2 speak of both seductive national voices calling for more troops, and of the actual sirens heard in bombed cities.”  The message of this hauntingly beautiful hymn continues to reverberate today, reminding us that as we once again begin our cold Advent journey, the flame of hope will keep burning until we arrive back in the warmth and light of Christ resurrected, the one who turns our grief to joy and our death to life.

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2 Responses to “Each Winter as the Year Grows Older”

  1. Paula Says:

    Thank you for the interesting information about this song. This is one of my favorite advent songs. It’s thought-provoking lyrics and beautiful music combine to make this an outstanding song.

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