Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent 4 - Sunday 23 December 2012

  • Organ Prelude: Rorate coeli (Drop down, ye heavens) – Jeanne Demessieux 
  • Opening Hymn 116 “Your kingdom come on bended knee” 
  • Psalm 89: 1-4, 19-26 
  • Gospel Acclamation
    Choir: Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia
    All: Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia
    Cantor: The LORD is near to all who call on him / to all who call on him in truth: my mouth will speak in praise of the LORD / let every creature praise his holy name for e-ver and e-ver.
    All: Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia
  • Anthem: Mary’s Magnificat – Andrew Carter 
  • Offertory Hymn
    Sing of Mary, pure and lowly, Virgin mother undefiled,
    Sing of God's own Son most holy, Who became her little child.
    Fairest child of fairest mother, God the Lord who came to earth,
    Word made flesh, our very brother, Takes our nature by his birth.

    Sing of Jesus, son of Mary, In the home at Nazareth.
    Toil and labour cannot weary Love enduring unto death.
    Constant was the love he gave her, Though he went forth from her side, Forth to preach, and heal, and suffer, Till on Calvary he died.

    Glory be to God the Father; Glory be to God the Son;
    Glory be to God the Spirit; Glory to the Three in One.
    From the heart of blessed Mary, From all saints the song ascends,
    And the Church the strain re-echoes Unto earth's remotest ends.
  • Communion Hymn 95 “O come, divine Messiah”
  • Communion Motet: “Adam lay ybounden” – Howard Skempton
    Adam lay ybounden,
    Bounden in a bond;
    Four thousand winter
    Thought he not too long.
    And all was for an apple,
    An apple that he took,
    As clerkës finden written
    In their book.

    Nor had one apple taken been,
    The apple taken been,
    Then had never Our Lady
    A-been heaven's queen.
    Blessed be the time
    That apple taken was.
    Therefore we may singen
    Deo gratias!
  • Final Hymn 89 “O come, O come, Emmanuel”
  • Visit St Barnabas website here »

    There is no organ postlude this morning. Please spend a moment or two in quiet contemplation in anticipation of Christ’s birth
  • Music Notes:
    “Adam lay ybounden” is a macaronic (meaning it has a mix of Latin and English words) poem by an unknown author, dating from around 1400. Several composers have set this text to music, one of the more recent being Englishman Howard Skempton (born 1947). His is a simple setting of this medieval Advent carol which has great impact in its originality; the style is controlled, almost austere, and the effect is hypnotic. It is a perhaps unsettling but poignant piece of music.
    Here is a very loose interpretation of the old English:

    Adam's ('s) sin enchained him for four thousand years (the accepted time from creation to Jesus' birth.) He did not think it was too long to wait. And all this was because of the apple Adam took, as scribes have recorded in Holy Scripture.

    If the apple had never been taken, then Mary would never have become Heaven's Queen. Blessed then be that apple's theft (because it ultimately brought salvation.) Therefore we must sing, thanks be to God!

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