Advent Carol Service – Live Streamed – Sunday, 28 November 2021

Please note that the video feed will go live from around 9:50 am and will be switched off after the service.
A separate video feed of the choir is available here.


A meditation in words and music
for Advent Sunday 

Sunday 28th November 2021

The congregation is invited to remain seated for the readings
and choir offerings and stand to join in for the hymns.
The service proceeds unannounced.

Before the service 

Organ:       Chorale Prelude Nun comma, dear Heiden Heiland (‘Saviour of the nations, come’)
J. S. Bach              


Choir:       Matin Responsory

I look from afar: and lo, I see the power of God coming, and a cloud covering the whole earth.     Go ye out to meet him and say:
Tell us, art thou he that should come to reign over thy people Israel?
High and low, rich and poor, one with another, Go ye out to meet him and say:
Hear, O thou Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep,
Tell us, art thou he that should come?
Stir up thy strength, O Lord, and come to reign over thy people Israel.
I heard a voice from heaven:  Come, all you wise virgins,
Store up the oil in your vessels until the bridegroom comes.
At midnight the cry broke forth:  Behold the bridegroom comes!

Hymn:       O Come, o come Emmanuel
(v.2 men; v.3 ladies)

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satans tyranny
From depths of hell thy people save
And give them victory oer the grave:

O come, thou dayspring, come & cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And deaths dark shadows put to flight:

O come, O come, thou Lord of Might
Who to thy tribes on Sinais height,
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe:

Reading:       Advent Antiphons
Marty Haugen

(please join in the responses in bold)

O Lord of Light,                                                                                                                                    
our only hope of glory,
your radiance shines
in all who look to you,
come light the hearts of all in dark and shadow.

O spring of Joy,
rain down upon our spirits,
our thirsty hearts are yearning
       for your Word,
come, make us whole, be comfort to our hearts.

For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits, truly my hope is in you.

O Root of Life,
implant your seed within us,
and in your advent draw us
       all to you
our hope reborn in dying and in rising.

O Key of Knowledge
guide us in our pilgrimage,
we ever seek, yet
       unfulfilled remain,
open to us the pathway of your peace.

For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits, truly my hope is in you.

Come, let us bow
before the God who made us,
let every heart be opened to the Lord,
       for we are all the people of his hand.

Here we shall meet the Maker
       of the heavens
Creator of the mountains
       and the seas
Lord of the stars and present with us now.

For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits,  truly my hope is in you.

Choir:       The Truth from above
Vaughan Williams

This is the truth sent from above, the truth of God, the God of love,
Therefore dont turn me from your door, but hearken all both rich and poor.

The first thing which I do relate is that God did man create,
The next thing which to you Ill tell – woman was made with man to dwell.

Thus we were heirs to endless woes, til God the Lord did interpose;
And so a promise soon did run that he would redeem us by his Son.

And at that season of the year our bless Redeemer did appear,
He here did live, and here did preach, and many thousands did he teach.

Thus he in love to us behaved, to show us how we must be saved;
And if you want to know the way, be pleased to hear what he did say.

‘The Light shineth in darkness’

Reading:       The Grey Dawn
Viktor Frankl

Choir:       Psalm 121
Walford Davies

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills: From whence cometh my help?
My help cometh even from the Lord: Who hath made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: And he that keepeth thee will not sleep.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel: Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord himself is thy keeper: The Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand;
So that the sun shall not burn thee by day: Neither the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:Yea it is even he that shall keep thy soul
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in:
From this time forth for ever more.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: World without end, Amen.

And the Glory of the Lord

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.                                                                                    

‘He will proclaim peace to the nations’

Reading:       Zechariah 9, 9-10

Choir:       O Radiant Dawn
James MacMillan

O Radiant Dawn, splendour of Eternal Light, Sun of Justice,
Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness
And the shadow of death Isaiah had prophesied,
‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light.
Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.  Amen.

(Great ‘O’ Antiphon for 21 December, based on Isaiah 9)

‘The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him’

Reading:       Isaiah 11, 1-9

Choir:       A spotless rose
Herbert Howells

A spotless Rose is blowing sprung from a tender root,
Of ancient seers foreshowing of Jesse promised fruit;
It’s fairest bud unfolds to light amid the cold winter,
And in the dark midnight. The Rose which I am singing,
whereof Isaiah said, is from its sweet root springing in Mary, purest Maid;
For through God’s great love and might,
The Blessed Babe she bare us in a cold winter’s night.

Hymn:       Hark what a sound, and too divine for hearing

Hark what a sound, and too divine for hearing,
Stirs on the earth and trembles in the air!
Is it the thunder of the Lord’s appearing?
Is it the music of His people’s prayer?

Surely He cometh, and a thousand voices
Shout to the saints, and to the deaf are dumb;
Surely he cometh, and the earth rejoices,
Glad in His coming who hath sworn: I come!

This hath He done, and shall we not adore Him?
This shall He do, and can we still despair?
Come, let us quickly fling ourselves before Him,
Cast at His feet the burden of our care.

Through life and death, through sorrow and through sinning,
He shall suffice me, for he hath sufficed:
Christ is the end, for Christ was the beginning,
Christ the beginning, for the end is Christ

‘The hope of liberation will not be extinguished

Reading:       Mary’s Song of Praise
Zephaniah Kameeta

Choir:       Ne Timeas Maria
Tomas Luid de Victoria

Ne timeas Maria invenisti enim gratiam apud dominum
ecce concipies in utero et paries filium et vocabitur altissimi filius.

Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace from the Lord. Behold, thou shalt conceive and bring forth a son, and He shall be called the Son of the Highest.

Magnificat (Collegium Regale)
Herbert Howells

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my saviour.
For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me: and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations.
He hath shewn strength with his arm:
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat:
and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things:
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel:
As he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: World without end, Amen.

Reflection and Prayer:       Revd. George Mwaura

‘All glory, honour and power be unto the Lord our God’

Choir:       I heard a voice
Thomas Weelkes

Alleluia. I heard a voice as of strong thunderings, saying ‘Alleluia’.
Salvation and glory and honour and power be unto the Lord our God,
and to the Lamb for evermore.  Alleluia

Blessing:       Revd. George Mwaura

Hymn:       Lo he comes with clouds descending

Lo he comes with clouds descending, once for favoured sinners slain;
Thousand, thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia!  God appears on earth to reign.

Every eye shall now behold him robed in awesome majesty;
Those who set at naught and sold him, pierced and nailed him to the tree:
Deeply wailing  shall the true Messiah see.

Yea amen!  Let all adore thee, high on thine eternal throne;
Saviour, take the power and glory, claim the kingdom for thine own;
O come quickly;  Hallelujah! Come, Lord, come.

Organ:       Fugue on ‘O quickly come, Saviour of all’ (Sonata 6)
Felix Mendelssohn

Please contribute as generously as you can to the Cornerstone Christmas Appeal
as you leave Church this evening (baskets at the rear of the Church)