We light the candle of peace on the Second Sunday of Advent, and we immerse in the vision of Christ as the Prince of Peace coming to earth. Division, conflict, anxiety, terror, violence–all seem to be on the increase in our nation and in the world, so the Sunday of Peace has rarely been so welcome. We will immerse in its hope and joy and love this Sunday.
The prophets Isaiah and John the Baptist take center stage (Isaiah’s peaceable kingdom vision, 11:1-10 and John’s foretelling of Christ in Matthew 3:1-12), with a supporting role by John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah with his beautiful Benedictus about the tender mercy of God and the dawn from on high that is coming “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:68-79)
For a list and a sampling of the beautiful music,
The music will contribute to the beauty and peace of the service, including three Advent hymns that work their way deep into the heart: “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed,” “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People” and “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.” In addition we will sing the Benediction again set to the most ancient Advent tune, “May All Your Restlessness Find Rest.” The choir will sing “There’s a Voice in the Wilderness.” It ends with these words: “Then God shall be as a shepherd, the lambs gathered to God’s breast; and pastures of peace shall greet them, to give to the weary rest.”
Organist John Atwood will play pieces by Paul Kickstat, Samuel Scheidt and J. S. Bach. The Bach piece can be found at the link below–a good one to listen to as a quiet Advent meditation:
And here is a slightly different text of the Anthem the choir will be singing: