Here is the prompt from over at Revgalblogpals:
“Those of you who are my friends on Facebook know I’ve been trying to post Advent music in this season, which is no small trick because, as you well know, it’s been “Christmas” since Halloween in the world out there! So today we focus on Advent and its music– the good, the bad, the new and the as-yet-unheard!”
1. First, do you come from a tradition in which the Advent season is embraced? This is not true for all of us. If you do, what is your personal preference? Do you love it or hate it? Embrace it or want it to go away already? How enthusiastically does your church enter into Advent?
I grew up in a Presbyterian Church. I honestly couldn’t tell you how much emphasis was placed on Advent. I think we lit candles? I remember the sanctuary decorated for Christmas. I remember Handel’s Messiah (and even playing the cello in the orchestra a few years). Honestly, this question has me wondering where I was during my own childhood and why I don’t remember more. Might have to ask my mother.
That said, I love Advent. I love setting time apart. I love the encouragement to approach Christmas deliberately.
The congregation I serve might have a different answer to the end of this question, but they seem to embrace Advent. They have been observing it long before I arrived. We have a Christmas concert halfway through December, so there is a chance to sing some Christmas carols before we hit Dec 24.
2. What is your favorite Advent music? (A tiny hint about mine can be found above.) Link to a favorite piece if you can.
I love Handel’s Messiah, especially the prophecies.
I love “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”.
I love “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”.
And I’m not sure they intended it to be Advent music, but I adore the Goo Goo Dolls song “Better Days”.
Seriously. Love that song. It speaks to hope, and not just individual hope, but corporate, communal hope. Christmas is the “night the world begins again”.
3. What Advent music makes your skin crawl– or at least annoys you and makes you wish it were Christmas already?
“On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry” makes me want to cry, and not in a good way.
4. Any Advent discoveries or re-discoveries? Again, we love links– share your music with us!
My friend Irene posted a link to this site on Facebook, and that has been my Advent Discovery.
5. Tell us how your Advent is going this year. Lost in a haze of church busyness? Finding ways to sit quietly in the darkness and wait? Give us your tips for a really rich Advent experience!
You may need to remind me of this next week, but at this moment, Advent is going well. Busy but not in bad ways. Finding time to be with people I love. Our December Session meeting (church board for the non-presbyterians out there) is going to be a Tacky Sweater party at someone’s home, so that will be fun. Playing my cello some in worship, which is life giving now. (There was a time it was all stress inducing).
My running routine is helping me to take time, set aside for myself.
Delegating has also helped. Mission Committee just led a training for House Church leaders and after I did my small part in the training, they did the rest. I went in and washed up the lunch dishes. It is a good event when the pastor is only needed for clean up.
The sanctuary looks beautiful this year and worship committee elves did it all.
Hope all of you are also having a great Advent season. (Or Hannukah, for that matter). Thankful for you “In the Bleak Midwinter”.