Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 24 December

The last window for this year.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Happy Christmas and Happy Holy Days to everyone.

Bryony Taylor

So I’ve saved for the final window one of my all time favourite pieces of Christmas music and one of my all time favourite YouTube videos. Enjoy and may you have a peaceful and blessed Christmas!

The Latin lyrics being sung are:

LUX AURUMQUE

Latin Translation ©2001 by Charles Anthony Silvestri

(English poem by Edward Esch)

LUX,                                              Light,

CALIDA GRAVISQUE                warm and heavy

PURA VELUT AURUM               as pure gold,

ET CANUNT ANGELI                  and the angels sing softly

MOLLITER MODO NATUM.       to the newborn babe.

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Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 23 December

Bryony Taylor

Behind today’s window is a short animated poem by my friend Nick. I think it’s fantastic!

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Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 22 December

Bryony Taylor

Behind today’s window is another poem. This is almost a fixture now at our traditional carol service and is usually read by Ros, one of our Lay Readers. It is so moving.

‘Mary’, by Lisa Debney

Your eyes are open now.
Those eyes which will open the eyes of others.
You study my face and, just for the moment,
though you came for the world,
you are mine and mine alone.
I made you and you made me
and we gaze at each other in equal wonderment.

Your eyes are open now,
so dark-bright –
sent from a night full of light and stars –
that I could watch you for ever,
watch your chest rise and fall
as you breathe the cattle-soaked air.
I would like this moment to last for ever,
you are so wonderful to me,
so truly wonderful as you are.

But not my will, Lord…

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Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 21 December

Bryony Taylor

Behind today’s window is a sonnet. I was inspired by this for my sermon I’m preaching this Sunday morning for Advent 4 – which celebrates the Virgin Mary.

Annunciation – Malcolm Guite

We see so little, stayed on surfaces,

We calculate the outsides of all things,

Preoccupied with our own purposes

We miss the shimmer of the angels’ wings,

They coruscate around us in their joy

A swirl of wheels and eyes and wings unfurled,

They guard the good we purpose to destroy,

A hidden blaze of glory in God’s world.

But on this day a young girl stopped to see

With open eyes and heart. She heard the voice;

The promise of His glory yet to be,

As time stood still for her to make a choice;

Gabriel knelt and not a feather stirred,

The Word himself was waiting on her word.

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Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 20 December

Bryony Taylor

Behind today’s window is a recommendation! I recommend that you watch this documentary on the BBC iPlayer. The documentary is about Danny Boyle and Banksy staging a nativity play in Bethlehem near the Wall in the West Bank – the play itself will be broadcast tonight at 11pm on BBC 2.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09kdtvp

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05rfh6v/player

I was incredibly moved to see what life in modern day Bethlehem is like. It will change the way you feel about those carols about Bethlehem this Christmas.

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Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 19 December

Bryony Taylor

Behind today’s window is an advent responsory. This is what is prayed each morning as part of the Daily Office in Advent and I rather like it as it sounds a bit like something from Game of Thrones (or rather Game of Thrones’ liturgy sounds like ours)! You might like to make this part of your prayers today:

Now it is time to awake out of sleep,
for the night is far spent and the day is at hand.

Now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed,
for the night is far spent.

Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light,
for the day is at hand.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ
and make no provision for the flesh,
for the night is far spent and the day is at hand.

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Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 18 December

Bryony Taylor

Behind today’s window is a film. This film was made as part of an online competition called the Nativity Factor to create a short film that communicates the Christmas story in a new way – this is one of my favourite finalists:

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Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 17 December

Bryony Taylor

Behind today’s window is an extract from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

This Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, yes, the one with the pink (sorry, rose) candle!

The point of the rose candle is to stop us in our tracks, it’s supposed to stand out and make you go, ‘why’s that there?’ just as the reading from Isaiah set for this Sunday says “the desert shall rejoice and blossom” (Isa 35:1). Blossom in the desert would make you sit up and take notice. Gaudete Sunday is all about taking notice of the signs of the coming kingdom, the glimmer of light in the darkness.

I don’t think I can encapsulate the mood of Gaudete Sunday any better than CS Lewis in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He uses the appearing of Father Christmas in the land where it is ‘always winter and never Christmas’ as an…

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Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 16 December

Bryony Taylor

Behind today’s window is a video. This is 7 years old now but it still cheers me up everytime I watch it. It seems to sum up how the Christmas celebrations of the church rub up alongside materialism. It was ever thus.

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Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 15 December

Bryony Taylor

Behind today’s window is a song and appeal.

I found this on this post: http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2017/12/ralph-mctell-streets-of-london-to-help-the-homeless-annie-lennox/

Legendary singer-songwriter, Ralph McTell, has re-recorded his timeless song, ‘Streets of London’, with a choir made up of clients from Crisis – the national charity for homeless people – and guest vocalist Annie Lennox, to raise money for the cause in the run-up to Christmas.

Ralph McTell said: “It’s 50 years since I wrote Streets of London and it saddens me that the issues raised in the song are still so relevant today. When the idea of a single to support Crisis was mooted, I was very pleased that it might help raise awareness of the charity’s work and the wider issue of homelessness. I have been performing a Christmas concert in aid of Crisis for a few years now; inspired by its commitment to improving the circumstances of so many.

“I…

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