Richmond Hill St. Andrews Church
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Advent is time of preparation and waiting, and not necessarily just for Christmas. It is a time when our thoughts turn to life and death, judgement, the second coming, and Christ the Light of the World.
The service “From Darkness to Light” begins in semi-darkness and as it progresses so the level of light increases until eventually the church is filled with light, symbolic of the coming of Christ, our Judge and Saviour.
Interspersed with the music and Old Testament readings are the Great Advent Antiphons, often known as the “Great O’s” -
These antiphons are very ancient and can be traced back to the days of the Early Church c.500 A.D.
The service begins with Brahms’ sublime organ chorale prelude “Es ist ‘ein ros entsprungen” followed the choir singing Palestrina’s Matin Responsary with its opening words “I look from afar,” and the processional hymn “Come thou, redeemer of the earth.”
Congregational hymns include “Christ is the world’s true Light” and “Come thou long expected Jesus” and the service concludes with the singing of that great favourite “O come, O come Emmanuel.”
Among the choir pieces are Goldschmidt’s beautiful “A tender shoot,” Benjamin Britten’s “Hymn to the virgin” for double choir, Stainer’s “How beautiful upon the mountains,” and “O thou the central orb” by Charles Wood.
The service will be sung by the combined choirs of Richmond Hill St.Andrew’s and St.Stephen’s, our Anglican neighbours from the opposite side of the road, under their respective organists and directors of music, Daniel Campbell and Ian Harrison.
Also taking part are readers from both churches, the Minister of Richmond Hill St.Andrew’s, Revd Nick Adlem, and the Rector of the Town Centre Parish, Revd Ian Terry.
Do join us if you can for this very special start to the season of Advent.