January 6, 2013
BEFORE this Feast of the Epiphany ends, listen if you have the chance to British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’s The March of the Kings from his Christmas Cantata Hodie (This Day) here. It begins approximately at minute 2:50 in this recording. The March conveys the regal atmosphere of the men proceeding toward Bethlehem. It is magnificent and exhilarating. It reminds me of the time when I was about three years old and wore a cardboard star while three Wise Men, who were also small children, followed me as I walked around a pole. I thought at the time that it was the most important thing I would ever do. I was a star.
The text of The March of the Kings, adapted from Matthew 2:1, 2 and 11, was written by the composer’s wife, Ursula. The first verse is:
From kingdoms of wisdom secret and far
come Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar:
they ride through time, they ride through night,
led by the star’s foretelling light.