Advent Begins

The First Sunday of Advent
December 2, 2018

The season of Advent, which begins today, marks the beginning of a new liturgical year.  The liturgical color for the season is purple.  The candles of the Advent wreath mark our progress through the four Sundays of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas.  Advent service music is more contemplative in tone, including the ancient Trisagion.  Greenery takes the place of flowers on the altar to help set this season apart.  Advent hymns and readings help us prepare our hearts and minds for the gift of Christ’s Incarnation and the joy of Christmas. 

Over the course of the four Sundays of Advent, we will sing many of the great Advent hymns contained in The Hymnal 1982. If you want to know more about Advent, read and reflect on Hymns 53 through 76 during the coming weeks. I also encourage you to consider purchasing the Advent book selection from the Canon's Bookshelf: Let Every Heart Prepare by Barbara Cawthorne Crafton. Through the window of familiar Advent and Christmas hymns, Crafton provides a brief daily meditation that provides hope and inspiration. Copies are available for purchase in the Cathedral Shoppe. Pick up your copy today as the season begins!

Hymns related to Advent themes are interspersed throughout our hymnal. One of my favorites - and a hymn that deserves to be more widely known - is "Jesus came, adored by angels." We will sing it during Communion today. This nineteenth-century hymn by Godfrey Thring was given new life in The Hymnal 1982 when paired with a modern tune by Gerald Near. As The Hymnal 1982 Companion states: "In successive stanzas, the text describes the spirit of adoration and humility that accompanied our Lord's first coming, his presence with forgiveness today, and the triumph of his second coming and our response of deep homage." May the four stanzas of this hymn speak to you over these four Sundays of Advent.

Jesus came, adored by angels,
came with peace from realms on high;
Jesus came for our redemption,
lowly came on earth to die:
Alleluia, alleluia!
came in deep humility.

Jesus comes again in mercy,
when our hearts are bowed with care;
Jesus comes again in answer
to our earnest heartfelt prayer;
Alleluia, alleluia!
comes to save us from despair.

Jesus comes to hearts rejoicing,
bringing news of sins forgiven;
Jesus comes in sounds of gladness,
leading souls redeemed to heaven;
Alleluia, alleluia!
now the gate of death is riven.

Jesus come on clouds triumphant,
when the heavens shall pass away;
Jesus comes again in glory; 
let us then our homage pay:
Alleluia, alleluia!
till the dawn of endless day.

          -Godfrey Thring (1823-1903)

Music for the First Sunday of Advent
December 2, 2018

74  Blest be the King whose coming (Valet will ich dir geben) 
73  The King shall come when morning dawns (St. Stephen)
56  O come, O come Emmanuel, stanzas 1-2 (Veni, veni, Emmanuel)
454  Jesus came, adored by angels (Lowry) 
59  Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding (Merton0 

Service Music
S-102  Trisagion   -Alexander Archangelsky
S-130  Sanctus   -Franz Peter Schubert/arr. Richard Proulx
S-169  Fraction Anthem: My flesh is food indeed   -Ray W. Urwin

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus*   -Marty Wheeler Burnett
Creator of the Stars of Night   -Plainsong, arr. Richard Proulx

Organ Music
Prelude on Veni Emmanuel   -Calvin Hampton   
Vivace (from Partita for Advent )   -Piet Post
*composed in Summer 2018 and sung for the first time at this celebration of the Holy Eucharist


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