Advent: 9 December

Tracy Niven
Monday 11 December 2023

Good afternoon,

Before opening today’s window, let me give a reminder of this evening’s service of Nine Lessons and Carols.  It will be in St Leonard’s Chapel, near the Cathedral which is accessed from South Street or the Pends.  It is a University chapel but in the grounds of St Leonards School.  The service starts at 8 pm with doors opening at 7.30 pm.  It can be worth coming in good time to be sure of a seat in the chapel near the choir rather than the ante-chapel.  Alongside traditional readings and congregational carols, there will be lovely music sung by St Leonard’s Chapel Choir, and the premiere of a new carol text which I have written for this year’s Christmas services in St Leonard’s Chapel.  There is no livestreaming from St Leonard’s Chapel, but all who are able to come in person are welcome.  There will be a collection for Hands Up Foundation Singing for Syrians.  I hope to see you there.

Our focus in today’s Calendar remains with Mary, but moves to her song of praise, recorded by Luke and known by the first word of its Latin translation, the Magnificat.  In these words the pregnant Mary rejoices in God’s mercy to her and to all her people, and celebrates God’s love for the lowly and hungry, while the powerful are brought down.  It is familiar to all who attend Evensong, when it is always sung.

Here is an image from Venice, Italy, sculpted in 1913, of Mary bearing Christ:

Magnifying God,
a bellyful of longing
in the child to come


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