The Third Day of Advent
What songs of justice might we sing this Advent?
The Third Day of Advent
What songs of justice might we sing this Advent?
The Second Day of Advent / The Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle
Are we, like Andrew–who was often in his brother’s shadow–to become alive in the death of the ego?
Today, the First Sunday of Advent begins a new liturgical year, the third for the Mormon Lectionary Project. I promise that some devotional content will follow, but in true Mormon fashion, there’s business to attend to first. [Read more…]
Mormon Lectionary Project: Fourth Sunday of Advent
The Collect: Heavenly Father, purify us through the Spirit, that thy Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; and if not a mansion, then a manger, for there is room for him with us.
Isaiah’s phrase—“Strengthen the weak hands, / and make firm the feeble knees”—has become, in LDS parlance, a key expression of our obligation to serve others. In the context of Advent, the most striking aspect of Isaiah 35:1-10 is the repetition of “shall,” which directs our expectation toward the Messianic Age, when “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, / the desert shall rejoice and blossom.” As Latter-day Saints these verses often turn our minds back to the pioneers’ cultivation of the Salt Lake valley, but Advent reminds us that something of this prophecy remains unfulfilled, calling us to rejoice now in anticipation of the rejoicing then.
Indeed, today’s readings use unfulfilled prophecy precisely to keep us in joyful expectation. The psalm tells us that the Lord “gives justice to those who are oppressed, / and food to those who hunger,” that he “cares for the stranger” and “sustains the orphan and widow.” Certainly the Lord does these things, but the work is just as certainly not complete. We must yet look forward to the time when we might with finality echo the Canticle, replacing Isaiah’s future tense with the past: “He has filled the hungry with good things.” Our memories shadow forth the taste of divine nourishments past, stoking our present hunger for the banquet to come. [Read more…]
Today, with the start of Advent, we begin a new liturgical year—a new cycle of sacred time that anticipates by a month the beginning of a new secular year. During Advent we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth while also stirring up our longings for the time when he will come again. Along with the traditional identification of this Sunday with hope, this double expectation makes Advent a good time for new beginnings. Unlike the secular new year, Advent gives our resolutions a clear focus: Christ. Because he came once, he can come again—and, more importantly, he can be with us now. [Read more…]
I was born and raised in the Church, and have been an active member all my life. From those two facts, you might reasonably assume that these lips have never touched alcohol. And you would be wrong. [Read more…]
A final Advent post from Jason Wood
This will be my last post in this series, as Advent draws to a close and Christmas Eve approaches. It’s been fun to share some of my favorite music for this season, and I appreciate the chance to do so. The Rorate caeli returns for the fourth Sunday of Advent as the Introit, this time with a new plainchant in mode 1.
Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A
The Collect: Heavenly Father, purify us through the Spirit, that thy Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; and if not a mansion, then a manger . . . for there is room for him with us. [Read more…]
…from Jason Wood
Advent III – Gaudete in Domino
For this week’s Introit, I was going to use the plainsong for Gaudete in Domino, but it is in a minor mode and doesn’t seem very joyful. Instead, enjoy these minstrels from my hometown of Orem, UT singing the English translation of this text “Rejoice in the Lord alway,” formerly attributed to John Redford, but now usually considered of anonymous composition. Who knew there was a Catholic church in Orem?
BCC has long championed the liturgical year. We are happy to welcome the efforts of Jason K. to further the cause.
Inspired by a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, BCC permas RJH and John F. recently started a Facebook group, The Mormon Confraternity of St. James, dedicated to the principle of holy envy, or the idea that people can find spiritual meaning in religious practices from outside their particular traditions. After attending a recent Advent mass with Confraternity members at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake, I realized that I have a special love for the formal reading in the church service of scriptural passages chosen for their appropriateness to the occasion in the liturgical year. These passages can then inform the homily given as part of the service. This series will use the lectionary texts of the Episcopal Church as the basis for brief Mormon homilies for each major festival of the liturgical year. Each homily will also include a Mormon version of the collect for the day—a brief formal prayer modelled on the masterful ones composed by Thomas Cranmer for the Book of Common Prayer, but adapted to the Mormon context.
We are posting this a few days early in order to introduce the project. Typically, posts will appear on the relevant holiday.
Part II of Jason Wood’s guest series–thanks, Jason!!
Advent II – Populus Sion
In my remaining posts, I’ll try to share some interesting background information I’ve picked up singing in church choirs (at least info I find interesting) in addition to musical selections of chant, hymns, anthems, and organ music.
Background — Gregorian chant
I shared a few chants in last week’s post. I am far from an expert on plainchant, but I am an enthusiast. Back in the 2000-2002 time frame, before cell phones had polyphonic ringtones, I programmed the Victimae paschali laudes and Veni creator spiritus chants into my phone so that I had seasonally appropriate ringtones. As the oldest and most “unadorned” music of the church, chant, also known as plainsong or plainchant, is especially fitting for the seasons of Advent and Lent. [Read more…]
I’ve asked my friend Jason to do some guest posts for Advent this year. I’ll probably chime in with Germanic and (Neo-)Romantic emendations to his Anglican purist selections from time to time. Enjoy!!
Advent I – Rorate caeli
I am both honored and humbled to have been asked to do some guest posts on some of my favorite advent music this year, considering I have nowhere near the breadth of knowledge of choral music that Kristine does, and I also lack her gift for writing. [Ed. Note: he’s lying.] A little background about me: I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology, and work studying the biology of aging. However, for the past 15 years, choral music has been my main non work-related artistic outlet. I think I have somewhat of an unusual choral background for a Mormon. [Read more…]
The last three months of my mission were spent in Pueblo, Colorado, just prior to my return home in mid-October 1979. While I was in that area I read Russell R. Rich, “Nineteenth-Century Break-offs,” Ensign (September 1979), which includes several paragraphs on James Jessee Strang and the Strangites. This was my very first exposure to Strangism; I had never heard of it before reading that article. The last sentence of the Strang portion of the article reads as follows: “Since 1922 there have been two factions in the group with a total of about 250 members centered in Voree, Wisconsin; Boyne City, Michigan; Kansas City; Pueblo, Colorado; and Artesia, New Mexico.” The accompanying footnote lists several books and a number of personal interviews conducted by the author, including ones with Joseph Flanders and Mrs. Milo Flanders in Pueblo, Colorado, on July 6, 1960. [Read more…]
Sorry I’ve been such a slacker this year. Here’s a nice long piece to make up for a few days, at least. I love Hugo Distler‘s choral music. I wish he had lived long enough to write more, but I also love listening to his Christmas music with its long shadows, too–the light shines in darkness.
We are pleased to have the bloggers from experttextperts as our guests over the next few weeks.
Brooke is a blogger at Expert Textperts who tricked a pretty smart guy into marrying her a couple of years ago. She is a Spanish Education major at BYU – Idaho and currently holds more jobs than is considered normal or socially acceptable.
This semester at BYU – Idaho, I took a class on Catholicism in the Hispanic world. We spent a large portion of the semester studying the religion and rites, and the remainder watching movies about Catholic figures (The Mission and Romero—both of which I would highly recommend) as well as hearing and/or giving presentations on aspects of the religion that I just didn’t know or hadn’t thought of before. While I still think some of the things that Catholics do can be a little weird, like keeping fingers once belonging to saints, I have found my own faith strengthened by a few Catholic practices, like Holy Week and the stories of various saints. [Read more…]
Karen Grignon (I kind of love this, even though it’s a bit of a mess)
For the first Sunday in Advent–three settings of O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Choir of Clare College Cambridge (with some rarely sung verses)
I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. (Solomon 2:4)
First of all, if you haven’t read Jim Faulconer’s lovely Advent meditation, DO!
Belatedly, here are some settings of the O Antiphons for Advent, traditionally sung during evening services from 17-23 December. The texts are based mostly on passages from Isaiah, and are titled O Sapientia (Wisdom), O Adonai (Lord), O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (Key of David), O Oriens (Dayspring), O Rex Gentium (King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel.
And one by Francis Poulenc, which is my favorite of all.
*Here’s another recording, problematic in different ways. (I’ll turn you all into choral music critics yet!)
(I’ve stopped counting :))
For this week, a single text:
You already know I love Mendelssohn’s motets. His Sechs Sprüche for various occasions in the liturgical calendar are short pieces for 8-part choir. I love them for lots of reasons, not least the recurrent use of my second-favorite German word “frohlocken.” (My very favorite is “Wonne”. I know you were wondering.) This video has good notes, with translations and links to the other five (of which my very favorite is Am Neujahrstage, in case you were wondering).
Two settings of John Jacob Niles’ transcription (or invention) of an Appalachian carol.