The Flight To Egypt In Poetry And Music

This coming Sunday one option for the gospel is the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23). Every time read this story I remember the words of poet George Szirtes and the music of Richard Causton.

Richard Causton is the composer of the 2015 commissioned Christmas Carol, “The Flight,” performed by King’s College during the Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. George Szirtes is the poet who wrote the words of the carol.

“The Flight” by George Szirtes

The child on the dirtpath
finds the highway blocked
The dogs at the entrance
snarl that doors are locked
The great god of kindness
has his kindness mocked

May those who travel light
Find shelter on the flight
May Bethlehem
Give rest to them.

The sea is a graveyard
the beach is dry bones
the child at the station
is pelted with stones
the cop stands impassive
the ambulance drones

We sleep then awaken
we rest on the way
our sleep might be troubled
but hope is our day
we move on for ever
like children astray

We move on for ever
our feet leave no mark
you won’t hear our voices
once we’re in the dark
but here is our fire
this child is our spark.

A Litany of Prayer for Refugees, Migrants, and Displaced Persons

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