RevGals Friday Five: Still Advent, Baby! Edition

Rev. Pat from RevGals has this week’s Friday Five:

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?

Advent was important in some of my church experiences, and not others. I’m about as much of a ecclesiastic mutt as one can be. I find great beauty in the discipline of WAITING, not rushing to the story of Bethlehem and the Christ Child. In fact, I was jarred by “Joy to the World” being sung last week by the worship team. (Sorry folks. It is NOT TIME YET!) So – obviously – the church where we are serving now calls it “Advent” but stumbles into Christmas frequently.

2. What is your favorite Advent music? (A tiny hint about mine can be found above.) Link to a favorite piece if you can.

Ah… well let’s look at some chant and plainsong, shall we?

There’s Veni, Veni Emmanuel… (And – BIG bias here from a music nerd – I DO NOT like the ones that use instruments and drums in the arrangements!!! It’s plainsong, folks, not a rock ballad! I can handle some strings or harp… limited drums and regular meter… but… OK. I made my point!)

Ad te levavi… (Psalm 25)

In more of a Christian contemporary style, there’s Michael W. Smith’s Prepare Ye the Way. (It was hard to find a version of this song with graphics that didn’t drive me nuts. Maybe just listen to it without the movie…)

And a more contemporary choral piece by Christine McIntosh called simply, Advent Song.

3. What Advent music makes your skin crawl– or at least annoys you and makes you wish it were Christmas already?

Ummm… it is “life in a minor key” for 3+ weeks. But really, it’s not THAT bad.

4. Any Advent discoveries or re-discoveries? Again, we love links– share your music with us!

I’ve alluded to several above and in previous posts related to my Advent scripture devotionals… take a peak. (There’s too many to re-post!)
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!

I’ve made it point to take TIME for my reading and writing this Advent. Several posts have not gone up because it is not the appointed “time” to make them public. There’s been plenty of concerts, cookie baking, errands, etc. I still have a lot of shopping to finish, but it’s all fun, not stressful at all. Since I am a chaplain, I’m not leading, planning or preaching this year (which I truly miss — the only down side of being a chaplain!) So instead, I’ve been spending more time reflecting and writing.

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