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Tony Grist

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Advent [Dec. 1st, 2014|09:06 am]
Tony Grist
I switch my mother's TV to Songs of Praise- and the opening hymn is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel- one of my (very few) favourites. I stop to listen- and find it only takes a little allegorising to fit the words to my current beliefs.

I've always loved Advent with its mix of medieval music and futurology.
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Comments:
From: cmcmck
2014-12-01 11:41 am (UTC)
Old tune that!

It's genuine plainchant: 'veni veni emmanuel'



Some people mistakenly attribute it to Zoltan Kodaly. He set it but he didn't write the tune or the words.

Edited at 2014-12-01 11:41 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-12-01 12:47 pm (UTC)
The medievals were serious about their religion- and it shows in their music.
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[User Picture]From: glitzfrau
2014-12-01 12:42 pm (UTC)
I adore Advent, with its darkness and hope of redemption endlessly deferred. The Advent carol service is the highlight of my year.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-12-01 01:28 pm (UTC)
Most popular Christian music leaves me cold. The Advent hymns are an exception.
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From: artkouros
2014-12-01 01:05 pm (UTC)
I love our ancient Christmas music as well. Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer especially.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-12-01 01:31 pm (UTC)
Oh God, no....

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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2014-12-01 03:02 pm (UTC)
when I sang in choir, that was one of my favorites to sing. I loved the 'minor'ness of it.(O Come,O Come, not Rudolph)

Edited at 2014-12-01 03:03 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-12-01 04:09 pm (UTC)
It's a wonderful tune
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2014-12-01 03:52 pm (UTC)
The quintessential Danish Advent hymn is "Vær velkommen" ("Be Welcome") and exists as a Christian Advent hymn and a more generally deistic New Year's hymn. I prefer the latter, perhaps because it is the one sung on Danish television on New Year's Eve right after they've telecast the Copenhagen City Hall bells and before they switch to the fireworks over Copenhagen:



"God of Truth", "God of Mercy", "God of Peace" and "Father God" are the themes of the four verses (though the last is perhaps a touch on the patriarchal side, and the only one that mentions Jesus...).
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-12-01 04:13 pm (UTC)
That's rather lovely.

It Deserves to be more widely known.
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2014-12-01 04:37 pm (UTC)
Be welcome, year of the Lord,
And be welcome hither!
God of Truth, let thy holy word
Enliven, enlighten the high North!
Welcome, New Year, and welcome here!

Be welcome, year of the Lord,
And be welcome hither!
God of Grace, let your sunshine in spring
Give us in our fields a golden year.
Welcome, New Year, and welcome here!

Be welcome, year of the Lord,
And be welcome hither!
God of Peace, the peace of goodwill,
You give us our land to blossom by!
Welcome, New Year, and welcome here!

Be welcome, year of the Lord,
And be welcome hither!
Father God! For our joy, for our gain
The New Year will happen in Jesus' name.
Welcome, New Year, and welcome here!

(Though both versions of the song lyrics were written by the same man, Grundtvig, who was a staunchly Christian proponent of the concept of not just waiting for an after-life but providing the living with a decent life. He inspired the Grundtvigianist religion and philosophy that my maternal grandparents grew up with - and which is very much what I'd like to think myself. I do, though, struggle with the belief in any deity, but at least I can be a cultural Grundtvigianist Christian. Lots of music, lots of singing, drinking and dancing and playing cards allowed, a religion of the people for the people, rather than opium of the people.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-12-01 06:36 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a fairly humane version of Christianity.

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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2014-12-01 06:43 pm (UTC)
When my parents got married (on my maternal grandparents' farm) they had to lie to my father's family about the wedding... Even mentioning that there had been wine, let alone dancing, was enough to scare the whole inner-mission side of my father's family! (My paternal grandparents were rather gracious, though; they believed dancing and drinking was the way to Hell, but since they were guests they shared the first toast - and no more - and my paternal grandfather danced with my mother after the wedding waltz. But this could not be spoken of!)
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From: (Anonymous)
2014-12-01 05:20 pm (UTC)
I love that hymn too. Which are the other advent hymns? In the Bleak Midwinter is one I love too. I expect Advent hymns do not equate with Christmas carols - but is there an overlap?
Jenny x
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-12-01 06:32 pm (UTC)
Lo he comes with clouds descending is another.

Advent hymns look forward to Christ's second coming so In the Bleak Midwinter doesn't qualify.

In practice the churches often play Christmas carols all through the Advent season but the purists disapprove.
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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2014-12-01 07:21 pm (UTC)
That is DEFINITELY one of my favorites. Thank you, cmcmck. Now I know why. I LOVE Early Music. (And, I cannot STAND the crap that passes as "Christmas music" that was written more recently).
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-12-01 09:58 pm (UTC)
Christmas music- the stuff the play over the public address systems in supermarkets- is horrible.
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