Dear Cathedral Family,
This Sunday will be the third Sunday in Advent, when we light the pink candle representing joy. Its traditional name is Gaudete Sunday, meaning Rejoice! At this midway point in the season, we pause in our preparations to experience the joy that we can feel at the anticipation of Christ’s coming and our own freedom from the darkness and all the weight of the world that holds us down.
This first season of our year, leading to Christmas, is richly represented in the art of the tradition—story, painting, and music. Last Sunday, we reflected together on Charles Dickens as one of the great storytellers (and prophets) of this season. I hope that you take a few moments each week to reflect and enjoy the visual art that accompanies our emails. This week, we turn our attention to music.
Like many of you, I have my favorite musical ways to experience the anticipation and joy of the days leading to Christmas. As I’ve shared before, I listen to the first half of Handel’s Messiah on repeat in my car beginning on the first Sunday of Advent. I have also been enjoying these recordings of the Netherlands Bach Society, working their way through ALL of Bach’s choral works. As John Eliot Gardiner quotes in his wonderful book Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven, “Where there is devotional music, God with His grace is always present.”
This Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., we will worship musically with our traditional Advent Lessons and Carols service. It will be live streamed and may be watched in its recorded version, but I hope that as many of you as are able will attend in person to experience fully the intimacy and the joy of music. Afterwards, we will have a simple reception in the Chapter House and opportunity to connect and sign up for supper clubs.
Our children continue to prepare for their Christmas Pageant, to be presented at 9:30 a.m. on the fourth Sunday of Advent, December 19. A group of them went caroling together last Sunday afternoon: they were GREAT! Their paintings of the stations of Advent, which they have made during Sunday School, will be on display in the Chapter House, as well.
For those of you who would like a slightly different way of experiencing the Daily Office during this season, here is a link to the Church of England’s Daily Prayer; you may read it quietly and listen to some lovely voices praying and singing (which is praying twice).
May you know the peace of the season,