Below is the complete programme of the evening of meditations and music for Advent held at Flax Bourton Church on 1 December. There are some surprising conjunctions and inclusions:
Music: Tantum Ergo
arranged Janet Harbison
Welcome and opening prayer
Everlasting Circle (from Word from Wormingford)
Music: Qui sunt hi, qui ut rubes? (from Ordo Virtutum)
Hildegard von Bingen
O come, thou Wisdom from on high! Who madest all in earth and sky, creating man from dust and clay: to us reveal salvation’s way.
The Bright Field
Music: Vivace (from Serenade for Strings)
O come, thou Lord of David’s Key! The royal door fling wide and free; safeguard for us the heavenward road, and bar the way to death’s abode.
Music: Touches bloquées (from Etudes Book I)
O come, O come, Adonai, who in thy glorious majesty from Sinai’s mountain, clothed with awe, gavest thy folk the ancient law.
Music: Boisterous Bourée (from the Simple Symphony)
O come, O come, thou Dayspring bright! Pour on our souls thy healing light; dispel the long night’s lingering gloom, and pierce the shadows of the tomb.
Ode to Winter
Music: Strange Fruit
O come, o come, Emmanuel! Redeem thy captive Israel, that into exile drear is gone far from the face of God’s dear Son.
Not the Millennium
Music: Twenty Tons of TNT
Michael Flanders and Donald Swann
O come, thou Root of Jesse! draw the quarry from the lion’s claw; from those dread caverns of the grave, from nether hell, thy people save.
The Second Coming
Music: O nos peregrine sumus (from Ordo Virtutum)
Hildegard von Bingen
O come, Desire of nations! show thy kingly reign on earth below; thou Corner-stone, uniting all, restore the ruin of our fall.
Music: Journey into Exile
Some of the connections in the minds of those of us who put this all together:
Advent as waiting; preparation; darkness to light; darkness; cold; fragility; the turning of the year; bare branches; resting earth; new growth; darkness of the heart; dark places in the world; light coming; Christ coming; the world still needs salvation; miracle of life; possibility of death; the risk of stillbirth; what rhythm do we live by?
There are many more. Look up the texts and music – I haven’t included them for copyright reasons, and because part of the point of Advent is that we have to work to prepare.