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Advent Theme - When Heaven Came Down

We are using the advent theme "When Heaven Came Down" which was proposed in Reformed Worship periodical.  I am looking for repertoire suggestions which might fit this general theme.  Each week of the season will focus on one specific aspect of that general theme.  They are as follows:
1.         1stweek – When Heaven Walked the Earth – Gen. 3:1-9
2.         2ndweek – When Heaven Came Back  - Luke 1:26-38; 46-55
3.         3rdweek – When Heaven Came to Us  - Col 2:6-12; 16-3:4
4.         4th week - When Heaven Comes to Stay  - Rev. 21:1-5.
on October 28, 2010 4:01pm
Brahms, O Heiland reiss? You didn't specify voicing, or how skilled the singers are.
on October 29, 2010 4:13am
The suggestions in the magazine article are not unusual for Advent. Week two gives you the biblical texts for both "Ave Maria" and "Magnificat", so your problem is more one of what to leave out.
The texts "And I Saw a New Heaven" and "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" are set in two favourite Anglican anthems by Edgar Bainton and Edward Bairstow. The line "as the Light of Light descendeth From the realms of endless day" is more explicitly in the hymn version, as suggested in the article.
If you relish plainsong, then there is the text "Rorate Caeli" (Drop Down Ye Heavens"), that is often used in advent. The hymn "Come, Thou Redeemer of the Earth", which has its own plainsong tune, contains the couplet "From God the Father he proceeds, To God the Father back he speeds." Martin Luther translated the text as "Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland."
John the Baptist announces "Repent, the kingdom of heaven is close at hand." I've even set that text myself but there are far better known options. The article suggests the related prophecy, as in Handel's "Comfort Ye", from Messiah. If you have a tenor that can do it justice, it is an admirable opportunity.
As I say, I think your difficulty is in choosing what to leave out. The author clearly had music in mind while devising the theme.
      Nigel.
 
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