singing advent

We’re on number two of seven of the Advent Antiphons in our stately march (aka mad rush) through the final days of Advent before Christmas. The ‘O Antiphons’ developed in the early church as sung prayers before and after Mary’s hymn, the Magnificat. They refer to different names of Jesus from the Old Testament Wisdom…

the pink one

This Sunday will be the third in Advent and those of a churchy nature (well, some at least) will be lighting the pink one, aka the candle for Gaudete, or Rejoice! Sunday. Contrary to (confused) popular opinion, this is not the one for Mary. Once upon a time I used to think of pink as a…

advent poem (i)

This, This is why it’s good to be alive – the rising and scattering of wings up into the early mist, stabbing white on grey on white; the creeping fingers of sycamores circling the late November wood. And advent soon to dawn. His coming will be silent, swift, piercing the dark, stripping us bare –…

advent poem (ii)

We tripped, and falling forward into Advent we blundered into waiting, unprepared the altar purpled; candles spluttering a welcome for the hesitating king.   As candles marked the time we took to walk the plodding path, something unfolded there: our ancient fathers knowing floods would come prepared to sail to a different home and prophets…

purple

Who doesn’t love a bit of purple? It took me a long time to appreciate the Anglican predilection for liturgical colours. Once pieced together, however, and I was away. Purple is long associated with royalty, richness, penitence (hence Lent), funerals and, in my mind, cold end of autumn days, and of course Advent. A long…

comes advent

Why begin at the end? Advent comes at the end of the calendar year and yet it begins the church year. I always find myself feeling a little bit more sober as it approaches. It’s almost as if I need a season to prepare for Advent, preparing as it is itself, for Christmas…a sort of…