Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Antiphonally yours ...

Time for me to confess that I am always rather grumpy about Christmas - I'm not quite sure when this started, I think when I was at university and received presents I just didn't want and felt bad about it all. So I took refuge in doing night duty at the Samaritans and taking Christmas services. Now in recent years I have been privileged to travel - last year to Venice, before that Berlin. It feels a bit selfish, but I'm happy trying to do Christmas my way for now.

I am terrible at buying presents and not even very gracious at receiving them and yet I love the Christmas story, the repetition of words and narratives that continue to speak to me. And I love the wonderful quiet liminal time of waiting that is Advent.

This morning we prayed the great Advent antiphones for the first time this Advent, I love the images, the memories of candles lit in the past and the glory of the music to O Come O Come Emmanuel - Chantez chantez il vient à notre appel combler nos coeurs Emmanuel. That French version "he comes to fill our hearts" is one I particularly love.

This morning's liturgy, during which we were privileged to hear John's gospel and the passage from Genesis read in Chinese by visitors from the China Christian Council, can be found here - with antiphones of course!