For you music planners out there using “unproper” texts, what is your approach to the twofold nature of Advent? Were you into the apocalyptic this weekend, and saving the tender thoughts of anticipation and joy for the final days of the season? Or does “O Come O Come Emmanuel” get automatically trotted out like a faithful pony every first Sunday?
I notice Michael Joncas is promising a short series on contemporary Advent texts at PrayTell. His first suggestion, Genevieve Glen’s “Christ comes, the promised peace of God,” is quite worthy. Sr Genevieve brings a skill, artistry, and keen sense of language as much as anyone else in our age.
Sometimes I like playing around with the tunes of Advent, especially if the people aren’t singing something. One of my favorite things to play with was slightly inspired by Ottorino Respighi’s treatment of Veni, Veni Emmanuel in his Trittico Botticelliano. Maybe by the time I get to Advent II, I’ll throw in a raised sixth on the tune. I think the people would sing it, if they heard it first. Well, my new parish would, I feel certain.
Meanwhile, how’s Advent I going for you church musicians?