Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Five: Still Advent, Baby!

A great Friday Five from Rev. Pat:
Those of you who are my friends on Facebook know I've been trying to post Advent music in this season, which is no small trick because, as you well know, it's been "Christmas" since Halloween in the world out there! So today we focus on Advent and its music-- the good, the bad, the new and the as-yet-unheard!
1. First, do you come from a tradition in which the Advent season is embraced? This is not true for all of us. If you do, what is your personal preference? Do you love it or hate it? Embrace it or want it to go away already? How enthusiastically does your church enter into Advent?

Oh, my goodness, we're Episcopalians! Of course we embrace Advent. It's a chance to do all that beautiful music such as "Gabriel's Message." I like the focus on waiting in the darkness for the coming of the Light. Our folks love Advent, but also get trees up and decorated early in Advent, which is not entirely true to the Advent focus, but that's not something that bothers me.

2. What is your favorite Advent music?  Link to a favorite piece if you can.

During Advent, our Bell Choir leads our procession at the beginning of each service with a beautiful and evocative arrangement of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." Here's a link to a similar arrangement, although we do not sing along during Advent - we along sing on Christmas Eve.

3. What Advent music makes your skin crawl-- or at least annoys you and makes you wish it were Christmas already?

On Jordan's Bank. A boring, foursquare hymn with nothing of the mystery of it all in it.

4. Any Advent discoveries or re-discoveries? Again, we love links-- share your music with us!

Peter Mayer's "Where is the Light?" - a joyful great big question. Check it out here. There are other really wonderful songs on this CD, including "God is a River."

5. Tell us how your Advent is going this year. Lost in a haze of church busyness? Finding ways to sit quietly in the darkness and wait? Give us your tips for a really rich Advent experience!

It's busy, but it's beautiful. This year, I don't have any parishioners who are standing at the edge of the transition to heaven, which is in itself a blessing. I'm being very intentional about having quiet time for prayer and meditation in the midst of the busyness, saying no to some invitations, and finding myself enjoying it all more.

So how is your Advent going? Feeling swamped? Looking for the light? Stop. Breathe. Smile. Pray.

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