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Aaron’s Rod
Music: Johann Baptist Cramer
The Victorian practice of hanging sugared nuts on a Christmas tree was bursting with Biblical symbolism.

GOD bade Moses, the leader, take twelve dry rods from the twelve tribes of the people of Israel, and lay them before the holy ark within the great tabernacle: and he would by those rods declare whom he had chosen for bishop.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Declare. Declaim. Denounce.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Find. Man. Lay.

Use together in one sentence: Whom. Rod. Law.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Ring out the Old, Ring in the New
Music: Albert Ketèlbey
For Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Christmas was a time to let the dead past bury its dead.

RING out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Light. Alight.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Man. Want. Cause.

Use together in one sentence: Free. Thousand. Year.

More games: Précis. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Christmas Bells
Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams
The sounds of an English country Christmas helped Tennyson in his deep mourning for an old friend.

THE time draws near the birth of Christ:
The moon is hid; the night is still;
The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.

Each voice four changes on the wind,
That now dilate, and now decrease,
Peace and goodwill, goodwill and peace,
Peace and goodwill, to all mankind.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Peace. Truce.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Draw. Answer. Voice.

Use together in one sentence: Those. Again. Peace.

More games: Précis. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

How St Euphemia Saved Christmas
Music: Jan Ladislav Dussek
The martyr St Euphemia played a vital role in preventing the message of Christmas from being watered down.

IN 428, Nestorius, the new Patriarch of Constantinople, delivered his first Christmas sermons amid controversy.

For generations, Christians had wonderingly acclaimed Mary as ‘Theotokos’, God’s birth-giver, but some in the capital now protested that it was an offence to God’s dignity. How could the Almighty undergo physical birth, or have a mother?

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Its. It’s.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Fear. Eye. Wonder.

Use together in one sentence: On. Wording. Some.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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The Adoration of the Magi
Music: York Bowen
Persian star-gazers hasten to Israel for the birth of a royal heir, but find that King Herod has had his fill of them.

NOT long before King Herod died, astrologers from Persia agreed that an unusual star announced the birth of a Jewish prince. A group of them set off for Jerusalem, no doubt expecting to find Herod’s palace in celebration.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Anticipate. Expect. Foretell.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Star. Convert. Return.

Use together in one sentence: Back. Rough-and-ready. Star.

More games: Précis. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

The Martyrdom of St Stephen
Music: John Field
Stephen was the first person to lose his life because he was a follower of Jesus Christ.

GAMALIEL, one of the most respected teachers in Jerusalem, was a moderate. But his pupil Saul became a firebrand, dedicated to purifying Judaism of Greco-Roman culture and especially of the Christians, who had already seduced a Greek-culture Jew named Stephen.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Will. Would.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Convert. Court. Try.

Use together in one sentence: Forgive. Become. Chosen.

More games: Précis. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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