For better or worse, one of the changes brought about by the pandemic is the increased prevalance of video webcasting of liturgical services.
This week, in the wake of Advent Sunday, this change is decidedly for the better for those who, like myself, enjoy dropping in on Advent Carol Services around the world.
For instance, St. Thomas Church in New York is one that I have listened to for many years, since the early days of audio webcasting. Their move to video webcasting during the pandemic has been very informative. Last year, for instance, who could know just by listening the cumulateive affect that Leo Nestor's haunting and liquid Advent Prose would have when accompanied by the lighting of the cognregation's candles? See here: "Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding" A Service for Advent (Nov. 28, 2021)
Even though St. Thomas has re-ordered their liturgy this year, the service still speaks of Advent in the same way. In fact, amidst all the variety of approaches among the services here, the common themes of Advent still ring out loud and clear.
Here are some of the other services you might want to view in these early days of the Advent season:
Then of course, is the service that would be fun to view, but is still a real joy to listen to: A Service for Advent with Carols from St. John's College, Cambridge.
Finally, an honorable mention to the Choir of Gonville and Caius for their Advent Carol Service. I was able to catch part of it live which is the only way to view their services. After the service, they disappear from YouTube and are not available for viewing later. A notable, and worthy approach, I think.
But I would be remiss if I did not end by saying that Advent Sunday (yes, this term is in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer!) is widely observed with Carol Services in the UK more than in the US. Since it so often falls on the same weekend as the Thanksgiving Holiday, we have more stateside Carol services to look forward to in the weeks to come!
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