Archive for December, 2012

Advent Calendar

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

On this Christmas Eve, enjoy a composition written  this year by Peter Hallock, founder of the Compline Choir and its director from 1956 to 2009. The work was commissioned by the Compass Rose Society to honor Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, who retires at the end of this year. It was a setting of a poem written by Williams called “Advent Calendar”, and was performed by the Canterbury Cathedral choir at a service of Evensong on October 5th, 2012. It was also given its Seattle premiere by the St. Mark’s Cathedral choir on the first Sunday of Advent, at the annual service of lessons and carols.

The following recording of “Advent Calendar” is by Seattle’s Byrd Ensemble, and it is available in both CD or download format. The CD also contains a version of Hallock’s composition “Night Music”, sung by the Compline Choir (more on this in a future post).

May you have a happy  Christmas.

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to the bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

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Prayers for Newtown

St Marks VotivesPrior to singing the Office of Compline last Sunday, the Compline Choir placed 28 votive candles on the steps in front of the altar in memory of the dead in the Newtown tragedy. Our director, Jason Anderson, had created a short prayer service which we sang from the McCaw Chapel (behind the altar area). We then processed from the chapel to the back corner of the cathedral, singing the Advent hymn “Creator of the Stars of Night”. Here is that excerpt:

Come and save us, O Lord God of hosts. (repeated by the choir)
Show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved:
O Lord God of hosts.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Come and save us, O Lord God of hosts.

(Prayer for the Children Slaughtered)
Loving God, whose beloved Son did take little children into his arms and bless them: Give us grace, we beseech thee, to entrust thy children Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin, and Allison into thy never-failing care and love, and bring us all to thy heavenly kingtdom; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

(Prayer for the Adults Slaughtered)
O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of thy servants Nancy, Rachel, Dawn, Anne, Lauren, Mary, and Victoria and grant them an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

(Prayer for the One Who Has Slaughtered)
Almighty and everlasting God, we lift up into the light of thy justice Adam the one whom hast taken the lives of our women and children. Where our hearts are stone return to us hearts of flesh; that grief may not swallow us up, but new life find us through Jeaus Christ the crucified, with whom we are raised by thy power; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Creator of the stars of night, your people’s everlasting light,
O Christ, Redeemer of us all, we pray you hear us when we call.

In sorrow that the ancient curse should doom to death a universe,
you came, O Saviour, to set free your own in glorious liberty.

When this old world drew on toward night, you came; but not in splendor bright,
not as a monarch, but the child of Mary, blameless mother mild.

At your great Name, O Jesus, now all knees must bend, all hearts must bow:
all things on earth with one accord, like those in heaven, shall call you Lord.

Come in your holy might, we pray, redeem us for eternal day;
defend us while we dwell below from all assaults of our dread foe.

To God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, Three in One,
praise, honor, might, and glory be from age to age eternally.