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Sunday, December 13, Third Sunday of Advent

Sunday, December 13 is the second Sunday of Advent. Find the readings here.

Dear Friends in Christ,

This week’s worship video is now available:

Morning Prayer, Rite II

Morning Prayer, Rite I

Please support our ministries, if you aren't already doing so.

First of all, yesterday, Festina released a special Advent offering, "a luxurious setting of the Ave Maria by English Renaissance master Robert Parsons (c. 1535-1572). We've been exploring Parsons's works throughout our program year, featuring canticles from his First 'Great' Service at both Evensong and Matins."

Secondly, in case you've been wondering why you haven't gotten a new saint video lately, it's not because I'm tired and I need a vacation. That is true, but that's not the reason. Instead, like in Lent, the Church suppresses all but the most important feast days in Advent in order to help us stay focused on the season itself. So there are only a few days that the Church deems worthy of distracting us from our preparations.

Speaking of my needing a vacation, I've only taken one Sunday off this year, out of four, and we practice "use it or lose it." So I'll be off from Wednesday through the Epiphany (January 6). I'm concerned that some people might be upset that I'm taking Christmas off, but the long-term consequences of clergy not taking all their allotted vacation time are quite serious. Since I couldn't be with you in church even if I were on duty, I figure my absence is going to be less problematic than it would be in any other year — and I've pre-recorded Advent and Christmas blessings, and a bunch of saint videos, so it'll be like I never left. Better yet, you'll get to hear some of the best preachers in our diocese, with the highlight being our bishops' homilies for Christmas Eve and Day. And most importantly of all, Mark is working hard to create worship with excellent experiences of the seasons' sacred music. You can find out more in his music notes below.

If you want to wish me well, or read me the riot act, your best chance will be at coffee hour, today at noon:

• To join on a computer, tablet, or smartphone with the Zoom app installed, click here:

• To call in on a smartphone, tap here: +16465588656,,86398096400#,,,,,,0#,,296917#

• To join on a conventional phone, call (646) 558-8656 then enter the Meeting ID: 863 9809 6400 and the Passcode: 296917

Here are Mark's music notes:

We’re still in John the Baptist territory, so we’re singing what I consider the other big 3 hymns associated with him. Organ music is based upon the third hymn, #67 “Comfort, Comfort ye my people.” The tune is from the post Reformation hymn explosion among the continental protestant churches, this one from the Calvin tradition, that made it easily into the Lutheran tradition early on. The melody is entitled “Psalm 42” because it was written originally for metrical Psalm singing. Guy Bovet is a Swiss composer who sets the tune in long notes in the bottom 2 voices, with a descant voice well above with fast notes for the first 2 and final sections and the 3rd section he reverses the slow lower voices to fast notes and the high quicker notes, he slows down. The closing Voluntary is by Georg Böhm who codifies the Chorale Partita tradition, (hymn tune variations) of which this is the final of a dozen or so short movements. This compositional model of Böhm had great influence on J. S. Bach, who perfected it!

Three important requests:

  • We’d like to have some photos of your crèche sets to use with the Christmas videos. Please send them to me, by December 20. Thank you!

  • Please join us on Christmas Eve, December 24 at 4 PM on YouTube for the premiere of our 2020 Christmas service of Lessons and Carols. Members of all of the choirs and guest musicians will join to sing the great music of Christmas wonder, joy and awe. The video will be available for the entire Christmas season.

  • Look for a handout that should arrive this week exploring the riches of the Great Advent O-Antiphons, proper to the last 7 days before Christmas Eve. This pamphlet is a companion short daily videos we are offering beginning on December 17. This is an opportunity to bask in the light of these antiphons to the great Advent canticle, Mary’s Magnificat. All music about wisdom, justice and mercy, with interesting relationship to our current topsy-turvy world.



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