We are about to enter into one of the most wonderful times of the Christian year (yes, I would probably say that about every season, and mean it truthfully). After the celebrations and musical grandeur of last week for Christ the King the services will become more serious and reflective, but also full of expectation and hope.
On Sunday, the first Sunday of the Christ year, the beginning of Advent, we will will begin the service by recalling our baptisms in the sprinkling of water and in prayer. We will then hear St Paul's cry to 'Wake up' and consider Christ's cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem as a picture of the work of the Spirit in the world and in the Church: 'drop down ye heavens from above, and let the sky pour down righteousness'.
To help us appreciate the hope and expectation of Advent, on Thursday at 5:30 pm we will have a special service of Advent Lessons and Carols, gathering in darkness and then lit by candlelight. The service is given shape by the Great 'O Antiphons', seven sentences based on an Old Testament title for the Messiah which is fulfilled and given its true sense by Christ. The readings from the Bible, lessons from the Bible, seasonal pieces by the choir and some wonderful hymns will help us to appreciate the riches of the season. We will be joined by the Oriel choir and guests from Oriel College also.
I hope that you will be able to join us on Sunday and on Thursday, and a very blessed beginning of Advent to you all.