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Christmas is coming

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:08 pm
by Haruo
I am starting this thread in the hopes that it can be a gathering place for discussion of what we and/or our churches and/or our families and/or our communities etc. are doing for the Advent-through-Epiphany season. I will probably post a lot of stuff in it, but I hope the rest of the crew will do what you can.

Long Advent

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:15 pm
by Haruo
I am a fan of "Long Advent", which is the practice of starting Advent 7 Sundays before Christmas instead of 4. Many people who have studied the history of the liturgical calendar have come to the conclusion that originally (not meaning before Jesus was born, but like "in the early Middle Ages") Advent, like Lent, was a seven-week season. I don't really know, and don't really care a whole lot, whether they're correct on the history, but I like the long form because I like the "O Antiphons" (and the hymn, "O come, O come, Emmanuel", drawn from them).

The Great "O!" Antiphons

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:53 pm
by Haruo
In some monastic traditions, these antiphons are sung at vespers during the octave preceding Christmas (or the first seven days thereof, since there are only seven antiphons). In the traditional order, their initial letters of the seven terms they employ for Jesus form a reverse acrostic that means, in Latin, "I'll be [there] tomorrow!" (ERO CRAS):

December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)
December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
December 21: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations)
December 23: O Emmanuel (O With Us is God)

I like to use the corresponding stanzas of "O come, O come, Emmanuel" in place of the original antiphons, and then on Christmas Eve sing the whole hymn in it's reverse order so that the acrostic is visible. (Except it only works in Latin, really, and even in Latin one of the verses doesn't fit the acrostic the way the antiphons do.) But anyhow, with the long form of the season, you can do one stanza each Sunday and then the whole hymn on Christmas eve. Only this year Christmas Eve is on Sunday, I think, so the Emmanuel verse only gets sung once.

Hymnals frequently only have four or five stanzas of "O come, O come, Emmanuel", sometimes only three, so here is the whole series:
1 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

[Refrain:]
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to Thee, O Israel.

2 O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who orders all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go. [Refrain]

3 O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times once gave the law,
in cloud, and majesty, and awe. [Refrain]

4 O come, O Rod of Jesse's stem,
from every foe deliver them
that trust your mighty power to save,
and give them victory o'er the grave. [Refrain]

5 O come, O Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home,
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery. [Refrain]

6 O come, O Dayspring, from on high,
and cheer us by your drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death's dark shadow put to flight. [Refrain]

7 O come, Desire of nations, bind
all peoples in one heart and mind;
O bid our sad divisions cease,
and be for us the Prince of Peace. [Refrain]

If you prefer to sing it in Latin (as I often do), the seven stanzas are available here. Or in Esperanto, here. (The Esperanto is in the proper Christmas Eve order, but the Latin has Emmanuel followed by the other six in the wrong order for the acrostic.)

Nails, spear shall pierce him through

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:12 pm
by Haruo
Here's a fasola-shapenote arrangement of GREENSLEEVES I did this morning with the third verse of "What Child Is This?" in Esperanto, Spanish, and English, and a score supplied by Robert Vaughn. I used the long-form words in English and Esperanto, but I only have a short-form version in Spanish. I'm just a long-form type of guy, I guess. I like the Long Advent and all seven stanzas of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel", and the long (i.e. chorusless) version of "What Child Is This?" I also like all seven stanzas of "How Firm a Foundation", for that matter, not that it's particularly an Advent hymn.

I was raised on the short form of this song, which is where each verse uses the same words for the second half of the tune: "This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing. Haste, haste to bring him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary." In the long form, the second stanza ends with "Nails, spear shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me, for you. Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the Babe, the Son of Mary." and the third stanza ends as given below, but starting "So..." instead of "O...":
Image

Evergreen Advent

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:50 pm
by Haruo
Last year, our ABC Region, Evergreen, had a photo-op Advent calendar going, looked like this Image and you would post photos related to the word of the day on social media (Facebook and Twitter anyway; not sure if they used other platforms). This year, the goal is a video series. So far four churches have signed on, so it may just be videos on Sundays. Here's a video explaining the project and inviting participation.

Lo,how a Rose e'er blooming

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:46 pm
by Haruo
...in German, Latin, English and Esperanto.
Image

Re: Christmas is coming

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:31 am
by Sandy
Our congregation doesn't really practice a formal advent calendar. The Christmas season is a living expression of love in the world, so during the time of advent, worship focuses on expressing "that of God within" outwardly, through specific acts of giving and serving in which the whole congregation participates. This is only the second Christmas season I've been involved with the Friends congregation, and last year, there were a few people who brought up elements of advent in worship, so I would guess there might be others who do the same this year, during the seasonal calendar. The giving and serving really makes for a great holiday season.

Re: Christmas is coming

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:50 am
by Haruo
Sandy wrote:Our congregation doesn't really practice a formal advent calendar. The Christmas season is a living expression of love in the world, so during the time of advent, worship focuses on expressing "that of God within" outwardly, through specific acts of giving and serving in which the whole congregation participates. This is only the second Christmas season I've been involved with the Friends congregation, and last year, there were a few people who brought up elements of advent in worship, so I would guess there might be others who do the same this year, during the seasonal calendar. The giving and serving really makes for a great holiday season.

Can you provide some specifics of the sort of congregational giving and serving you participate in?

Re: Christmas is coming

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:52 pm
by Sandy
As a congregation, we start at Thanksgiving by participating with the local rescue mission's food drive, which provides a turkey, all the sides and trimmings, to about 900 families in the area. We participate in the collection, then help organize and pack the boxes. On Thanksgiving Day, we rent a local VFW hall that has a great kitchen and dining facility, and cook and serve a meal pretty much all day. It's open invitation, anyone can come. The rest of the season, we more or less find neighbors who have needs. My wife and I have done yard work, snow shoveling, giving rides to doctor's appointments, every now and then we do a soup and salad supper on a Saturday afternoon just for neighbors to get together.

Re: Christmas is coming

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:08 pm
by Haruo
Sounds good.

Re: Christmas is coming

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:04 pm
by Jim
Here are two carols for the beginning of the Advent season (the announcement), one in major key and the other in minor: http://clarkscorner.org/hymn29.pdf; http://clarkscorner.org/hymn26.pdf. Anyone not afraid of the possibility of traumatizing the choir or congregation is welcome to use them.

Re: Christmas is coming

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:47 am
by Haruo
Thanks! Well done, I think.

Re: Nails, spear shall pierce him through

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:17 am
by Rvaughn
Haruo wrote:Here's a fasola-shapenote arrangement of GREENSLEEVES I did this morning with the third verse of "What Child Is This?" in Esperanto, Spanish, and English, and a score supplied by Robert Vaughn.
Nice. Best I remember I just converted a version of it to four shapes, without any arranging otherwise.

Re: Nails, spear shall pierce him through

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:36 am
by Haruo
Rvaughn wrote:
Haruo wrote:Here's a fasola-shapenote arrangement of GREENSLEEVES I did this morning with the third verse of "What Child Is This?" in Esperanto, Spanish, and English, and a score supplied by Robert Vaughn.
Nice. Best I remember I just converted a version of it to four shapes, without any arranging otherwise.

Well, you have the melody in the tenor as it should be, whereas almost all versions i've seen have it in the treble. So you probably at least did that much arranging. And I think it should work. Sometimes I wish I had a captive hollow square sitting around waiting to try these things out for me.

Re: Lo,how a Rose e'er blooming

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:04 am
by Dave Roberts
Haruo wrote:...in German, Latin, English and Esperanto.
Image


I love it far better in German. Thanks for printing. I sang it in the Deutsch version.

Re: Christmas is coming

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:46 am
by Haruo
You're welcome. I think it's a good song in any language. But the original is often the best.

Re: Christmas is coming

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:57 am
by Haruo
At the Second Sunday Singing in Olympia, Washington, yesterday, we sang my mockup of Greensleeves in English and Spanish. It worked pretty well, considering it was a small group with a couple of complete newbies and some confusion at first about the alto clef. Thanks to Robert Vaughn for supplying the notation. The text was the third stanza of "What Child Is This?"

Re: Nails, spear shall pierce him through

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:00 pm
by Rvaughn
Haruo wrote:Well, you have the melody in the tenor as it should be, whereas almost all versions i've seen have it in the treble. So you probably at least did that much arranging.
Yes, for Sacred Harp purposes the melody "has to be" in the tenor.
Haruo wrote:And I think it should work. Sometimes I wish I had a captive hollow square sitting around waiting to try these things out for me.
That would be nice, wouldn't it?!
Haruo wrote:At the Second Sunday Singing in Olympia, Washington, yesterday, we sang my mockup of Greensleeves in English and Spanish. It worked pretty well, considering it was a small group with a couple of complete newbies and some confusion at first about the alto clef.
Glad to hear that! As to the alto clef, it seems to have fallen on hard times even in Sacred Harp circles. (If I'm not mistaken, we replaced all of them from the latest edition of the Cooper Book, 2012.) If one is sight-reading based on shapes alone, it shouldn't cause a problem, but I think most of us now may have too much other musical training outside of shape notes that "interferes" with our thinking.

Re: Nails, spear shall pierce him through

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:37 pm
by Haruo
Rvaughn wrote:
Haruo wrote:At the Second Sunday Singing in Olympia, Washington, yesterday, we sang my mockup of Greensleeves in English and Spanish. It worked pretty well, considering it was a small group with a couple of complete newbies and some confusion at first about the alto clef.
Glad to hear that! As to the alto clef, it seems to have fallen on hard times even in Sacred Harp circles. (If I'm not mistaken, we replaced all of them from the latest edition of the Cooper Book, 2012.) If one is sight-reading based on shapes alone, it shouldn't cause a problem, but I think most of us now may have too much other musical training outside of shape notes that "interferes" with our thinking.

I suppose a potential reason to retain it has to do with avoiding too many notes above or below the staff getting in the way of the free space needed for the words. But I don't know if that's a concern here.

Re: Christmas is coming

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:39 pm
by Rvaughn
That is the reason I chose it. We used to have several songs with alto on an alto clef, and a few with the alto on a bass clef. But if you can set it alright on the G clef, I'm sure alto singers would appreciate it.