Auld Lang Syne… a tune we remember fondly from our farewells to each old year and our celebrations and the welcoming of each new year. Originally based upon a long poem by Robert Burns, this ballad from Scotland is known mostly for the limited verses that we sing each final night in December as the clock moves closer to midnight.
Growing up in New York City, Jeff’s New Year’s Eve would include his parents listening to Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians singing that tune as they rang in the New Year. His father customarily opened the living room door to let the old year leave while allowing the New Year to enter.
This ceremonial honor of playing Auld Lang Syne at the turn to the New Year was passed from Guy to Dick Clark and then onto Ryan Seacrest as folks continued to include television in their New Year’s Eve festivities. As time goes on, we can rest assured that each generation will continue to have a master of ceremonies who will usher in the New Year with promises full of hope, celebrations, fortunes, and adventures.
Kelly also spent her childhood New Year’s Eves at home with her parents and siblings, watching Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve and feasting on special treats and goodies, while talking about resolutions. And, of course, Auld Lang Syne was sung by the whole family at the stroke of midnight every year.
So, what does Auld Lang Syne mean? (literally “old long since”) What of the old year… never to be spoken of again? We should take to heart the first lyric “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?” This verse reminds us that we should always keep with us the lessons and memories of past years… from the exciting, luck-filled, “what a great year!” experiences to the old, tired, beat up, “I’m sick of this year” times. Deuteronomy 32:7 reminds us to “remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.” Though it is tempting to try to forget about the challenges of past years, it is important to celebrate how far we have come and all God has helped us to accomplish.
Each year we are put through many challenges and tasks in life. Some challenges we can overcome on our own, and for others we need to rely on friends and family to see us through. In Galatians 6:2 we are reminded to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” The last few years have certainly shown that regardless of the challenge, the family of St. Paul’s will support each other and can weather many storms and challenges together!
As the New Year is here, and some folks have thought about resolutions for the new year, please keep in mind that “a man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) and have faith that you can accomplish anything with God and the St. Paul’s community on your side: Celebrating! Reminiscing! Rejoicing! Succeeding Together!
Wishing God’s blessings upon each and every one of you in 2022.