What Does a Contemporary Universalist “Music Sunday” Service for Advent Look Like?

The Universalist Church of West Hartford
Advent Music Sunday
Sunday, December 14, 2008

Prelude: “Four Organ Chorales” (by Hermann Schroeder)

Words of Welcome: “Letter to the Snow” (by Phillis Levin, read by Rev. Jan Nielsen)

Procession of the Universalist Church Choir: “Traditional Vesper for Christmas Day”:
Hodie Christus natus est (Today Christ is born)
Hodie Savator apparuit (Today the Savior has appeared)
Hodie in terra canunt angeli (Today the angels sing)
Laetantur archangeli (The archangels rejoice)
Hodie exsaltant justi, dicentes (Today the rightous rejoice, saying)
Gloria in excelsis Deo (Glory to God in the highest)
Alleluia!

Call to Worship (by Rev. Jan Nielsen)

Hymn #226 in “Singing the Living Tradition”: “People Look East”

Lighting of the Advent Candles (by Rev. Jan Nielsen)

Affirmation (in unison):
Love is the spirit of this church, and service its law
This is our great covenant
To dwell together in peace
To see the truth in love, and to help one another

Universalist Church Choir and Universalist Church Bell Choir: “Wolcum Tole!” (Anonymous, 14th century):
Wolcum be thou hevene king!  Wolcum Yole!
Wolcum, born in one morning.  Wolcome for who we shall sing.

Wolcum be ye Stevene and Jon.  Wolcum Innocentes everyone.
Wolcum, Thomas mater one.  Wolcum.  Be ye, Good Newe Yere.
Wolcum, seintes lefe and dere, Wolcum Yole!  Wolcum

Candelmesse, Qujene of bliss.  Wolcum bothe to more and lesse.

Wolcum be ye that are here.  Wolcum Yole!
Wolcume alle and make good cheer.  Wolcum alle another yere.
Wolcum Yole!  Wolcum!

Story for All Ages: “What Night Do the Angels Wander” (by Phoebe Stone, read by Sally Oxman)

Hymn for Singing the Children Out: #238 “Within the Shining of a Star”

Universalist Church Choir: “There is no Rose” (Anonymous, 14th century):
There is no rose of such vertu
As is the rose that bore Jesu.
Alleluia, alleluia.

For in this rose conteined was
Heaven and earth in litel space.
Res miranda, res miranda.  (A real miracle, a real miracle)

By that rose we may well see
There be one God in persons three.
Pares forma, pares forma.  (Beautiful form, beautiful form)

The aungels sungen the shepheres to:
Gloria in excelsis Deo  (Glory to God in the highest)
Gaudeamus, gaudeamus.  (We rejoice, we rejoice)

Leave we all this werdly mirth,
Pares forma, gaudeamus, (Beautiful form, we rejoice)
Transeamus, transeamus (To change us, to change us)

Alleluia, res miranda (Hallelujah, a real miracle)
Pares forma, gaudeamus (Beautiful form, we rejoice)
Transeamus, transeamus, transeamus (To change us, to change us, to change us)

Hymn to Call to Prayer: #123 “Spirit of Life”

Silent prayers

Prayer (by Rev. Jan Nielsen)

Lord’s Prayer (in unison):
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive use our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Offeratory Hymn: “Together, in Love” (contemporary Universalist hymn by churchmember John Kurkjian, performed by Gretchen Fountain and Darlene Oksanen), in celebration of Tom and Janice Montgomery’s 60th wedding anniversary

Reading: “Remodeling the Bathroom” (by Ellen Bass, read by Rev. Jan Nielsen)

Hymn: #224 “Let Christmas Come” (in unison)

Universalist Church Choir and Universalist Church Bell Choir: “Deo Gracias”:
Deo gracias!  Deo gracias!
Adam lay ibounden, bounden in a bond;
For thousand winter, thought he not too long.

Deo gracias!  Deo gracias!
And all was for an appil, and appeal that he tok,
As clerkes finden written in their book.

Deo gracias!  Deo gracias!
Ne had the appil take ben, the appil take ben,
Ne hadde never our lady, a ben hevene quene.

Blessed he the time that appil take was
Therefore we moun sigen.
Deo gracias!  Deo gracias!

Hymn: #248 “O We Believe in Christmas” (in unison)

Benediction (in unison): adapted from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians:
Go out into the world in peace
Have courage
Hold on to what is good
Return to no person evil for evil
Strengthen the fainthearted
Support the weak
Help the suffering
Honor all beings

Recession of the Universalist Church Choir: “Traditional Vesper for Christmas Day” (repeated from above)

Organ postlude: “Preludes and Intermezzos VI” (by Hermann Schroeder)

———-
Sanctuary decorations for Advent Music Sunday:
American flag (standard)
Connecticut state flag (standard)
White-ribboned wreath (church tradition for Advent)
Altar flowers (in loving memory of Guy Shafter by Laura and Marc Shafter)
Pulpit flowers (for Janice and Tom Montgomery’s 60th wedding anniversary, by their various kids and grandkids)
Two lighted christmas trees (church tradition for Christmas season)
Two large hanging wreathes (church tradition for Christmas season)
Flaming chalice and rainbow banner (standard)
Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount stained glass (standard)

Choir was not robed; bell choir wore matching white shirts and gloves; minister wore robes; music director was not robed

Welcoming hosts (for 11am service): Fran Baiamonte and Al Bidorni
Greeters (for 11am service): Jane Keach and Pat Wilson
Ushers (for 11am service): Beth Brigham and David Arnott, deacon
Organ: Sue Hertel
Music Director: Theodore Hine
Original carols ceremony adapted by Benjamin Britten

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2 Comments

Filed under Unitarian-Universalism, Universalism

2 responses to “What Does a Contemporary Universalist “Music Sunday” Service for Advent Look Like?

  1. Pingback: Universalist Advent Services « Transient and Permanent

  2. kelly hamilton

    I am leading a service Dec. 13 this year and am researching a Unitarian approach to Advent to compliment a speaker coming from a local Emmanuel House of Prayer. I am interested in hymns I could choose for the service, two or three appropriate ones would suffice. Any suggestions.
    I am a member of the Worship Committee of the Unitarian Fellowship of Kelowna and help with lay led services. thank you for your help

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