Highlights from Advent Lessons and Carols

Click on the links below to hear music from this service.  Download the service leaflet here.

Antiphons chanted beautifully by the tenors and basses of the choir:

O Sapientia

O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High,
Pervading and permeating all creation, mightily ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

O Adonai

O Adonai and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who appeared to Moses in the burning bush
and gave him the Law on Sinai:
Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us.

O Radix Jesse

O Root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the peoples,
Before whom kings are mute and to whom the nations will do homage:
Come quickly to deliver us.

O Clavis David

O Key of David and Scepter of the house of Israel,
You open and no one can close, You close and no one can open:
Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

O Oriens

O Dayspring, Splendor of Light everlasting:
Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

O Rex Genitum

O King of Nations,
The Ruler they long for, the Cornerstone uniting all people:
Come and save us all, whom you formed out of clay.

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, our King and our Lord,
The Anointed for the nations and their Savior:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Other anthems and carols:

Hymn 56, O come, O come Emmanuel (Veni, Emmanuel)

Schütz: O liebe Herre Gott
Lisa Jennings and Kristine Chaney, sopranos

O lieber Herre Gott, wecke uns auf, das wir bereit sein wenn dein Sohn kömmt, ihn mit Freuden zu empfahen, und dir mit reinem Herzen zu dienen, durch denselbigen deinen lieben Sohn, Jesum Christum.  Amen

O dear Lord God, awaken us that we may be prepared when your Son comes, that we may greet him with joy, and serve you with pure hearts, through your only beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen

– Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Vulpius: Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
Lisa Jennings, soprano; Fran Gilbert, alto

Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen aus einer Wurzel zart.
Wie uns die Alten sungen, von Jesse kam die Art. 

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
of Jesse’s lineage coming, as those of old have sung.

Hymn, All earth is hopeful (Toda la tierra)

Dyson: Magnificat

Schop: How lovely shines the Morning Star
Lisa Jennings and Kristine Chaney, sopranos

Hymn, People, look east, the time is near (People Look East)

Jennings: Springs in the Desert

Rorem: Mercy and truth are met together

Hymn 60, Creator of the stars of night (Conditor alme siderum)

Hymn 57, Lo! he comes with clouds descending (Helmsley)

For additional pictures of the service,  please visit the Trinity Shutterfly site here.

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Lessons and Carols for Advent This Wednesday

This event is being offered as an Advent family night of fellowship and worship. It is meant to be a quiet moment of reflective preparation amid the fuss and bother of this hectic season. Through our fellowship, our prayer, and our singing I hope that the evening will be a useful tool in making our hearts and minds ready for the celebration of Christmas. Childcare is provided.

Aside from the readings and the singing, a notable feature of this service will be a set of seven banners with symbols for each of the Great O Antiphons. The banners were designed specifically for this service and they were made (traced, cut, sewn, ironed, appliqued, hemmed, and otherwise lovingly wrought) by women in our choir. They will be processed into the church one by one as the service progresses, and after the service we will hang them over the balcony for the remainder of Advent and Christmas.

The symbols on the banners, derived from the Old Testament, are as follows:

O Wisdom – Scroll
O Adonai (“Lord and Ruler”)- Burning Bush
O Root of Jesse – Tree
O Key of David – Key
O Dayspring – Rising Sun
O King of the Nations – Crown
O Emmanuel (“God with us”) – Star and Manger

Advent Banners Featured in Diocesan Newsletter

A write-up about the “Great O” Antiphon banners that were designed for last December’s Advent lessons and carols service appears in the current issue of Jubilate Deo, the diocesan newsletter (link to the online version here).  For more on the design and construction of the banners, please click here; for recordings of music from the Advent Lessons and Carols service for which the banners were made, click here.

The Great O Antiphons

On Wednesday, December 15, we will have a service of Lessons and Carols for Advent.  This will be an opportunity to recall the promise of the Savior’s coming in the form of Old Testament prophecy and traditional music of the season.  This service will also be the conclusion of the “Wednesdays at Trinity” activities for 2010; dinner in Gravely Hall at 5:45, followed by the service at 6:30.

The seven lessons and seven carols at this service will be chosen and organized around the so-called “Great O Antiphons,” a series of chants that were sung along with the Magnificat at Vespers on the seven nights before Christmas Eve.  Each antiphon is a prayer for deliverance, and they all begin by addressing the Messiah by one of the prophetic titles found in the Old Testament:

Dec 17       O Sapientia (Wisdom)
Dec 18       O Adonai (Sacred Lord)
Dec 19       O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse)
Dec 20       O Clavis David (Key of David)
Dec 21       O Oriens (Dayspring)
Dec 22       O Rex Genitum (King of the nations)
Dec 23       O Emmanuel (God with us)

These antiphons embed a striking acrostic: read in inverse order from last to first, the second letter of each antiphon spells out the words ERO CRAS, which in Latin means “tomorrow I will be with you,” a message that is not revealed until the final antiphon is sung on December 23. 

In the event that they might help in your devotional observance of Advent, here are the complete texts of all the antiphons:

December 17 – O Sapientia (Wisdom)

O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High,
Pervading and permeating all creation, mightily ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

December 18 – O Adonai (Sacred Lord)

O Adonai and Ruler of the house of Israel,
Who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai:
Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us.

December 19 – O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse)

O Root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the peoples,
Before whom kings are mute and to whom the nations will do homage: 
Come quickly to deliver us.

December 20 – O Clavis David (Key of David)

O Key of David and Scepter of the house of Israel, 
You open and no one can close, You close and no one can open:  
Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 21 – O Oriens (Dayspring)

O Dayspring,
Splendor of Light everlasting: 
Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 22 – O Rex Genitum (King of the nations)

O King of Nations,
The Ruler they long for, the Cornerstone uniting all people:
Come and save us all, whom you formed out of clay.

December 23 – O Emmanuel (God with us)

O Emmanuel, our King and our Lord,
The Anointed for the nations and their Savior:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.