1st Sunday of Advent (Year C, 2012)

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Entrance Awake awake, fling off the night
Kyrie Missal Chant
Psalm To you, O Lord (Marty Haugen)
Gospel Acclamation Advent Gospel Acclamations (Alan Smith)
Preparation of the Gifts Let all mortal flesh keep silence (Edward Bairstow, 1874-1946)
Sanctus, Acclamation B, Amen Missal Chant
Agnus Dei Missal Chant
Communion (i) O Sapientia (chant)
(ii) Wait for the Lord (Taizé)
Postcommunion Zion hears the watchmen’s voices (J.S. Bach)
Recessional Love divine

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, derived from the Cherubic Hymn of the fourth-century Liturgy of St James, is inherently an Advent text. In the familiar words of the hymn setting:

Christ our God to earth descendeth
our full homage to demand

The text in Bairstow’s atmospheric choral setting is closer to the ancient liturgical text:

For the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Christ our God,
cometh forth to be our oblation,
and to be given for food to the faithful.

though in comparison to Moultrie’s hymn text, this version perhaps conjures a more abstract image of the incarnation in favour of a more direct connection to the eucharist.

We had two pieces – the opening hymn and our postcommunion rendition of the famous fourth movement of Bach’s cantata Wachet auf, BWV 140 – reflecting our Lord’s instruction to stay awake in today’s Gospel reading.

We’re singing the O antiphons again this year, one per Sunday. These too are ancient Advent texts, ascribing a succession of names to the coming Saviour – today’s was Wisdom – and dramatising the one-word plea come. The text is of course better known as the hymn O come, O come Emmanuel, which we’ll come to in three weeks’ time.

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