Monday, 14 December 2009

Advent 3

A big apology to my few but faithful readers of this post that it's been so long since the last! I suppose everyone can say they are extra busy at this time of the year. I have however found some really quiet moments (and I mean moments) through not blogging,  but through secular working ( I am non-stipendiary i.e. self- supporting), ministering as deacon, preparing the Sunday school or with the family, to be able to try and meditate on the coming events of the Holy Incarnation of God made man. Music has been the saving grace and medium. We as the clergy here at St. Arvans were able to kick-start our observances on Advent Sunday in November with a quiet hour of prayer with music before the Blessed Sacrament of the Lord exposed in the monstrance on the altar.This has been a reservoir of belief and grace on which to build for the season.  Our church is soaked with the prayers of the faithful since the ninth century which is very helpful too. The Advent hymns, organ chorales of Bach and various chants have helped me to steady the mad rush and to hold on to the real mystery and enormous importance of what will occur in a few days time. No I have not been particularly well organised. I'm behind with rehearsals for the Carol service, the fewer Christmas cards are still in their packets (we are donating to charity in the parish this year, not giving cards to those we see regularly), the Crib is not out of it's wrappers from last year, presents will be last. Then I have been writing the texts for the liturgy before the offertory at Mass next week when the younger one's will be celebrating the Stations of the Incarnation around the church with readings, lighting of candles, prayers, meditations and procession with an early blessing of the crib. All accompanied by Angels and Shepherds. I think the choice of Mary and Joseph has been done without too many tears!!  Then there was the Sunday Worship from our parish to prepare for last week. We have been on Radio Wales a few times but this was national BBC Radio 4!! When I was told it was going out to 1.8 MILLION listeners live, anxiety or vanity more like rather kicked in. Oh Dear. However, the Cardiff Polyphonic Choir ( music director Neil Ferris) , organist David Thomas, Fr. Michael Gollop parish priest, readers and Kate Price cellist and everyone else did magnificently. A small parish like ours of 880 souls was ministering the Gospel to the World through the Word, liturgy and music of God. Well done to Sian Baker the producer and her colleagues in the BBC. Long may this Christian witness through national media continue. The Advent Hymns and music speak to us profoundly through all the turmoil.  Through these wonderful words and this music the tradition of the Church makes Jesus expected and real and about to be born....but not yet. We wait alongside Mary Mother of God with pregnant expectation for the saving glory of the birth of Christ to be proclaimed...but not yet."Pour down O heavens  from above and let the skies rain down righteousness!" This was the broadcast... 

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