Two years ago, I enjoyed listening to the recording of the Salisbury Cathedral Advent Service called "From Darkness to Light".
Images from this candlelit service are always stunning. See this combination of two long exposures by Matt Cardy, for instance.
Now the entire recording can be heard in a number of places online, including YouTube -- though I hasten to add that if you have a way to listen to this without advertising interruptions I strongly advise you to do so.
Here are my reflections from two years ago after my initial hearing:
At first it sounded a bit slow. But as I listened more, I realized that it was all of a piece. The music, the liturgy, and the prayer is all so incredibly intentional, deliberately paced, and rich with meaning. I was particularly struck with the loud introduction of the organ in the service for the appearance of John the Baptist and his infamous cry. And to my listening ear Jeremy Davies's inimitably gracious precenting cannot help but draw one deeply into the liturgy. I found the closing blessing particularly beautiful.
I'm struck by the power of this remarkable service -- and I've only listened to it. I can only imagine what the sheer drama of this liturgy would be like in person.
This is the kind of experience that makes me so very grateful for the rich heritage of organ and choral music in the Anglican tradition.
This is the kind of thing that makes me very glad to be a Christian.
Labels: Advent, church music
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