Monday, November 28, 2016

An Advent hymn

I know, I'm hitting the Advent/Christmas stuff hard already, but there are two reasons for this:

a. This really and truly is my favorite time of the year and it is allowing me to recapture some of the old happiness

b. It's been an awful year so far and I need things that I find good and pleasant and reassuring.

There are a few Advent hymns out there. Different denominations (and even different congregations within a denomination) vary on how "strict" they are about what of Christmas is "allowed" before Christmas. (My brother and sister-in-law belong to a fairly traditional Episcopalian church, and they said that their congregation does not decorate until right before Christmas. My more lax Disciples congregation decorates right after church on Christ the King Sunday, so the church is decorated for all of Advent. We don't light the candles (except for those on the Advent wreath) before Christmas eve, though)

But I do notice that we don't *generally* sing the Christmas hymns and carols this early in Advent, instead using other pieces. (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, which, if I remember correctly, the tune is based on an old "plainchant" and so probably has very old roots).

And this one, which is my favorite of the Advent songs:

And yes, I prefer Hyfrydol as the tune (it is one of my favorite hymn-tunes and is used in a few other hymns, though I know it best as this one). There are other tunes sometimes used for this - when sharing "church music," I often default to the various British choirs because they do it so well, but it seems they use a different tune for these words, and I like Hyfrydol.

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