Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Arrival Of The Light Of The World

The word, "advent," comes from the Latin "adventus," meaning "arrival." Today in the Christian world we mark two beginning, that of a church year as well as its first season, Advent. The four week journey through the season anticipates both the birth of Jesus Christ as the Light of the World and his return at the Last Judgement.

As we enter into the seasons of Advent and Christmastide, it is time once more to explore almost two thousand years of words, music, and visual arts created for this holy time.

The Descent of Peace                                       William Blake

I give you the end of a gold string.
Only wind it in a ball,
It will lead you to Heaven's gate
built in Jerusalem's wall.
                                                      from William Blake's poem, "Jerusalem"

Today's music is a plainsong dating from the 7th century. Conditor Alme Siderum (Creator of the Stars at Night.

Here is some background on the hymn including its original text and an English translation. For a more detailed exploration of the hymn and its variations over the past 1500 years, go here.

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