Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 24 December


So I’ve saved for the final window one of my all time favourite pieces of Christmas music and one of my all time favourite YouTube videos. Enjoy and may you have a peaceful and blessed Christmas!

The Latin lyrics being sung are:


Latin Translation ©2001 by Charles Anthony Silvestri

(English poem by Edward Esch)


LUX,                                              Light,

CALIDA GRAVISQUE                warm and heavy

PURA VELUT AURUM               as pure gold,

ET CANUNT ANGELI                  and the angels sing softly

MOLLITER MODO NATUM.       to the newborn babe.


Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 22 December


Behind today’s window is another poem. This is almost a fixture now at our traditional carol service and is usually read by Ros, one of our Lay Readers. It is so moving.

‘Mary’, by Lisa Debney

Your eyes are open now.
Those eyes which will open the eyes of others.
You study my face and, just for the moment,
though you came for the world,
you are mine and mine alone.
I made you and you made me
and we gaze at each other in equal wonderment.

Your eyes are open now,
so dark-bright –
sent from a night full of light and stars –
that I could watch you for ever,
watch your chest rise and fall
as you breathe the cattle-soaked air.
I would like this moment to last for ever,
you are so wonderful to me,
so truly wonderful as you are.

But not my will, Lord, but yours be done.
I must hand you over for the world cries out for you,
though I cry out to let you go.
Just for tonight let the future leave us in peace.
Close your eyes, baby.

Close your bright eyes on the dusty darkness of the world.
There is majesty in you but for now let it hide,
let it hide like a gem while you sleep.

Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 21 December


Behind today’s window is a sonnet. I was inspired by this for my sermon I’m preaching this Sunday morning for Advent 4 – which celebrates the Virgin Mary.

Annunciation – Malcolm Guite

We see so little, stayed on surfaces,

We calculate the outsides of all things,

Preoccupied with our own purposes

We miss the shimmer of the angels’ wings,

They coruscate around us in their joy

A swirl of wheels and eyes and wings unfurled,

They guard the good we purpose to destroy,

A hidden blaze of glory in God’s world.

But on this day a young girl stopped to see

With open eyes and heart. She heard the voice;

The promise of His glory yet to be,

As time stood still for her to make a choice;

Gabriel knelt and not a feather stirred,

The Word himself was waiting on her word.

Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 20 December


Behind today’s window is a recommendation! I recommend that you watch this documentary on the BBC iPlayer. The documentary is about Danny Boyle and Banksy staging a nativity play in Bethlehem near the Wall in the West Bank – the play itself will be broadcast tonight at 11pm on BBC 2.

I was incredibly moved to see what life in modern day Bethlehem is like. It will change the way you feel about those carols about Bethlehem this Christmas.

Luxury Advent Calendar for the Soul – 19 December


Behind today’s window is an advent responsory. This is what is prayed each morning as part of the Daily Office in Advent and I rather like it as it sounds a bit like something from Game of Thrones (or rather Game of Thrones’ liturgy sounds like ours)! You might like to make this part of your prayers today:

Now it is time to awake out of sleep,
for the night is far spent and the day is at hand.

Now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed,
for the night is far spent.

Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light,
for the day is at hand.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ
and make no provision for the flesh,
for the night is far spent and the day is at hand.