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As the light of winter descends, the days grow shorter and dusk comes sooner. Darkness comes early and stays late, and our vision is hampered by the lack of light. Our vision resists the darkness, and unless we are attentive to our other senses, we end up on one of two places: our eyes close in the pervasiveness of night, or we become blinded by the garishness of the seasonal lights.

It is a perfect season to develop our focus on sound.

Unlike the joyous major key focus of Christmas music, Advent carols often lean to minor keys. These are the sounds of longing, of wondering, of lament.

Our story reminds us of a different kind of time, a way of waiting that requires a listening ear and heart.

So whether you rest in the music of waiting or light a candle and enjoy times of expectant silence, make this a season of paying attention with your ears.

God of the watching ones,

the waiting ones,

the silent and suffering ones,

give us your benediction,

that we might hear and know

your light in the darkness.


Mary Did You Know?



Es kommt ein Schiff, geladen, arr. Max Reger

Stuttgart Vocal Ensemble


Keening for the Dawn

Steve Bell


Cantata for the First Sunday of Advent BWV36

Collegium Vocale conducted by Philippe Herreweghe

Text and Translation