Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Old Church on Christmas Eve

The old church stood where two roads met.
As evening snowflakes fell,
I heard in the silence of cold winter twilight
The echo of the old church bell.

For many a Christmas come and gone,
Had a little choir sung.
For many a Christmas to 'Silent Night'
Had the old pine rafters rung.

Many years Pastors inspired their flocks
With words of the first Christmas day,
And the Spirit of Christmas filled many a heart
In a strange and wonderful way.

Now, God doesn't dwell in old wooden buildings;
He dwells in the hearts of men.
The peace in my heart on this Christmas Eve night
Came not from without but within.

But the old country church, unused and neglected,
Wasn't empty and silent this night.
I thought I heard singing; through the window I caught
The glimmer of Christmas tree lights.

Abandoned for years for more modern cathedrals
The church stood all dark in the chill,
Yet the spirits of those who worshiped and sang there,
Worshiped and sang there still.

The original version of this poem was written 39 years ago for a Grade 9 English Class.  I was working in Kingston, Ontario.  The family I was boarding with had a girl in Grade 9  whose boyfriend lived across the street.  I used to go to his hockey games and often took Kathy since I was "an adult and had a car".  They were assigned to write poems for their English class.  Roland brought his efforts to me to look at and I fixed it up for him and made it scan a bit better.  Of course, nothing would do but I had to write Kathy's entire poem.  There was an old church by a crossroads in northern Ontario where her brother and his family lived.  I had seen it on a visit to their home.  It served as inspiration.

Roland got 8.5/10 and Kathy got 9/10.  She was so happy she beat him.


  1. Sad to think that the kids and grand kids will never have such memories. Today it's mega churches and mega malls and pastors using helicopters. But we can still appreciate the memories.

  2. You did her homework for her?!?! BAD.


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