Monday, December 19, 2005

end of advent

Yesterday was the last Sunday of Advent, ending our season of awaiting, of reflection, of expectation. In Advent, I appreciate the opportunity to hold back the gaudiness of the season, at least in church, to have moments of silence, to wait, even as our culture has been hawking the Christmas season for nearly two months, linking its clanging to improving retail sales.

Last night, we had our traditional service of lessons and carols, and because of the calendar, it was a Christmas service.

The young girl who sang the first verse of Once in Royal David's City was chosen earlier in the day. Her father had found out about it in late afternoon, and so he cut short another volunteer activity. When he got out to his car, parked about a mile away, he found that it would not start. So he ran to the church, getting there about a minute before the opening procession which his little girl led.

What kind of God, the hymn asks, puts its most sacred gift in the context of a cattle shed?

We sang Rachmaninoff's Ave Maria, from his Russian Vespers. As the altos sing the melody, the sopranos and the tenors form a tense counter-duet. And then the basses come crashing into the midst of it.

1 comment:

Rob+ said...

Sounds like a great selection of music. I'm sure it was a joy singing it.