Vol I No. 7
Liturgy & Ecclesiology

The First Sunday of Advent - Reflection with Choral Music

by sinetortus

The Three Wise Men,  John La Farge (1835-1910)
La Farge, whose work in stained glass was widely admired                                                                                                                                                            is commemorate on 16th December together with Ralph Adams Cram and Robert Upjohn


The Collect for the First Sunday of Advent:

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness,

and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life,

in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility;

that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty,

to judge both the quick and the dead,

we may rise to the life immortal;

through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever.




To Listen to the Webcast click on this link


The opening Prelude:
Fanfare, by James Healey Willan (1880-1968)

Followed by the
Matin Responsory
(adapted from a setting of the Nunc dimittis of G. P. da Palestrina (1525–1594)

The Advent Choir / Mark Dwyer, conductor / Jeremy Bruns, organ / Francesco Logozzo, Henry Clapp, Laura Ziegler & Agnes Coakley Cox, soloists /

Cantor:           I look from afar:
Gentleman:   And lo, I see the power of God coming,  and a cloud covering the whole earth.
Cantor:          Go ye out to meet him and say:
Choir:            Tell us, art thou he that should come to reign over thy people Israel?
Soprano:       High and low, rich and poor, one with another,
Choir:            Go ye out to meet him and say:
Soprano:      Hear, O thou shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep.
Choir:           Tell us, art thou he that should come?
High Voices: Stir up thy strength, O Lord, and come
Choir:            to reign over thy people Israel.
Cantor:         Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
Choir:           I look from afar: and lo, I see the power of God coming,  and a cloud covering the whole earth.
Low Voices: Go ye out to meet him and say:
Choir:           Tell us, art thou he that should come to reign over thy people Israel?

(Aspiciens a longe, First Responsory at Matins of Advent Sunday)


Hymn: Come, thou Redeemer of the earth,

(Veni Redemptor gentium, Ambrose of Milan: tr John Mason Neale)

Come, thou Redeemer of the earth,
And manifest thy virgin-birth:
Let every age adoring fall,
Such birth befits the God of all.

2 Begotten of no human will,
But of the Spirit, thou art still
The Word of God, in flesh arrayed,
The Saviour, now to man displayed.

3 The virgin womb that burden gained
With virgin honour all unstained,
The banners there of virtue glow,
God in his temple dwells below.

4 Forth from that chamber goeth he,
That royal home of purity,
A giant in twofold substance one,
Rejoicing now his course to run.

5 From God the Father he proceeds,
To God the Father back he speeds,
Runs out his course to death and hell,
Returns on God’s high throne to dwell.

6 O equal to thy Father, thou!
Gird on thy fleshly mantle now,
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.

7 Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
And darkness glow with new-born light,
No more shall night extinguish day,
Where love’s bright beams their power display.

8 All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete.



First Lesson


Anthem    And the glory of the Lord (Messiah)- George Frederick Handel (1685–1759)

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it

(Isaiah 40: 1–8)

Second Lesson

Anthem: The truth from above, “Herefordshire Carol”, (English traditional) arr. Karl E. Moyer


This is the truth sent from above, the truth of God, the God of love:

therefore don’t turn me from your door, but hearken all, both rich and poor.

The first thing which I do relate is that God did man create, the next thing which to you I’ll tell, woman was made with man to dwell.

Thus we were heirs to endless woes, till God the Lord did interpose, and so a promise soon did run, that he would redeem us by his Son.

And at that season of the year our blest Redeemer did appear, he here did live, and here did preach, and many thousands he did teach.

Thus he in love to us behaved, to show us how we must be saved; and if you want to know the way, be pleased to hear what he did say.


Gospel Lesson


Anthem:  Ne timeas Maria: Tomás Luis de Victoria

Ne timeas Maria in venisti enim gratiam, gratiam apud Dominum: ecce concipies in utero, et paries filium; et vocabitur Altissimi Filius.

Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God: behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and he shall be called the Son of the Most High.

(cf Luke 1:30–32)




Hymn:  Of the Father’s love begotten (Divinum mysterium)  arr David Willcocks (1919-2015)

1 Of the Father’s love begotten,
ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega;
he the source, the ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see,
evermore and evermore!

2 By his Word was all created;
he commanded; it was done:
heaven and earth and depths of ocean,
universe of three in one,
all that sees the moon’s soft shining,
all that breathes beneath the sun,
evermore and evermore!

3 O, that birth forever blessed
when the Virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
bore the Savior of our race,
and the babe, the world’s Redeemer,
first revealed his sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

4 O ye heights of heaven, adore him.
Angel hosts, his praises sing.
Powers, dominions, bow before him,
and extol our God and King.
Let no tongue on earth be silent;
every voice in concert ring,
evermore and evermore!


Closing Blessing

Canzon septimi toni, no 2, Giovanni Gabrieli (c1554/1557-1612), arr. by David Marlatt

Robbie Marx, trumpet; Chris Schroeder, trumpet; Liam Hanna, french horn; Dave Day, trombone; Matthew Groves, bass trombone & Jeremy Lang, timpani.  Jeremy Bruns, organ


Officiant: The Revd. Canon Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff.

The music is from the Sound Archive of the Choir of the Church of the Advent Boston, under the Direction of Mark Dwyer, by kind permission of the Rector, The Revd. Fr. Douglas Anderson.