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This evening’s service is a sequence of readings, hymns, and choral music exploring some of the themes of Advent - darkness, light, despair, hope, and justice – and how these are reflected in the oldest stories and wisdom of Bible, in the prophetic voice, and in the stories of John the Baptist, in the birth of Son of God, and in the cycle of life itself.

The O Antiphons, around which this service is structured, date back at least to the eighth century, and accompany the Magnificat at Vespers on the last seven days of Advent. They draw from the messianic hopes of the Hebrew Scriptures, to express the longing for the coming of the Christ.


A note about language:

In our worship we use language which is poetic and filled with metaphor and wonder – realising that any language about God is limited. We use some ancient words which may seem odd, or may seem to refer to God as male, or in terms which elsewhere we might not choose to use. The poetry and the metaphor are there not to restrict or define our understanding of God, but to remind us that our words are never enough to talk about the Divine: instead we use the beauty of the words and music in our worship to help us glimpse just a little of the God beyond all words.


Clergy: The Reverend Stephanie Wood
Readers: John McLaren, Judith Branion, Michael Zenger, Kit Pearson, Richard Routledge, Carol-Ann Zenger, Lorraine Gates, Christine Scott
Choir: The Choristers of St. John the Divine
Assisting Conductor: Char Hodgkins
Director of Music and Organist: David Stratkauskas