Present Tense Advent

Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020


Fourth Sunday in Advent
Sunday, December 20, 2020
Rev. Douglas duCharme
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and Guests​



Scripture: Mark 13:24-37
Readers: Peter and Eleanor Heinz

Prelude Pifa (Pastoral Symphony) from Messiah           George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)


Opening Carol Hark! the Herald Angels Sing           arr. David Willcocks (1919-2015)

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!”

Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come,
Off-spring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the God-head see,
Hail th’incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings;
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!”
(Charles Wesley, 1739)


Introit Gloria in excelsis Deo III           E. Daley (1990)
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir

Gloria in excelsis Deo,
Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.
(Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, good will to all people.)


Lighting of the Fourth Advent Candle – Hope
Rob and Sue Metcalf



Come, Light of Lights           E. Daley (2018)
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation

Come, Light of lights,
Come, shine upon us.
Come, touch our hearts,
We long for you.
Come, touch our lives,
Come and renew us.
Come to us, Emmanuel.
(E. D.)


Anthem Rejoice and Sing This Christmas Morn           E. Daley (1991)
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and Guests
Ron Gorveatt – Sound and Video Editor



Carol In the Bleak Mid-winter           Gustav Holst (1874-1934)

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him,
Nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign;
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breast full of milk,
And a manger full of hay.
Enough for him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.
(Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894)


Anthem Angels, from the Realms of Glory           arr. Dan Forrest (b. 1978)

Angels, from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story,
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth:

Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the new-born King.

Shepherds in the field abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant Light:

Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the new-born King.

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great desire of nations;
Ye have seen his natal star:

Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the new-born King.

All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son.
Evermore your voices raising
To th’eternal Three in One!

Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the new-born King.
(James Montgomery, 1816)


Closing Carol Angels We Have Heard on High           arr. John Rutter (b. 1945)

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply,
Echo back their joyous strains.

Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
Say what may the tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?

Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the newborn King.

Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
(French trad., trans.
James Chadwick, 1860)


Choral Commissioning           E. Daley (2019)
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation

(Georg Weissel, 1590-1635,
Trans. Catherine Winkworth, 1855, alt.)


Postlude Good Christian Men, Rejoice           arr. Philip Ledger (1937-2012)
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
Conductor – Stephen Cleobury (1948-2019)

Good Christian men, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice!
Give ye heed to what we say:
Jesus Christ is born today.
Ox and ass before him bow,
And he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!
Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice!
Now ye hear of endless bliss:
Jesus Christ was born for this.
He hath open’d the heavenly door,
And man is blessèd evermore.
Christ was born for this!
Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice!
Now ye need not fear the grave:
Jesus Christ was born to save.
Calls you one and calls you all
To gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!
Christ was born to save!
(German/Latin 14th century,
Trans. John Mason Neale, 1818-1866)


We are aware of how deeply you appreciate the music of this season – for many of you
this is a tradition that brings us together, and has done for years. For many of us this is
especially meaningful this year when our ability to gather with loved ones is limited.

Your financial support to Fairlawn Avenue United, especially at this time,
ensures that we will be there for you and your family for Christmases to come,
telling the story and celebrating the music.

Please donate HERE


♪ Music notes ♪

Various legends, registering differing degrees of reality and truth, inevitably surround such a famous and long-lived composition as Messiah by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). It is known that he wrote most of the work in an astonishingly short three weeks time, beginning on August 22, 1741. Another legend attached to the work relates to his inspiration, which casts the frenzied composition as a sort of divine dictation. Handel is said to have emerged at some point (usually, it is noted, after finishing the “Hallelujah Chorus”,) and proclaimed: “I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God himself!” The first performance of Messiah took place in Dublin, on April 13, 1742. Handel gave the London premiere less than a year later at Covent Garden, and in the almost 300 years since then, Messiah has taken its rightful place as one of the most frequently performed and most beloved choral works of all time.

David Willcocks (1919-2015) was an English conductor, organist, composer and arranger, and long considered Britain’s most esteemed choir director. During the course of his remarkable life, to name but a few of his many accomplishments, he was the Music Director of the King’s College Choir of Cambridge University, and was associated for many years with the Bach Choir, based in London, England. His work with both ensembles — renowned for the brightness, clarity and impeccable intonation he routinely summoned from his singers — was considered exquisitely representative of the modern English choral tradition. He was also the co-editor (along with John Rutter) of the beloved Carols for Choirs series – carol books found in virtually every church and community choir’s library. As a choral ambassador, Willcocks led ensembles in Canada, the United States and across the globe – and even worked with the Rolling Stones!

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was an English leader of the Methodist movement, most widely known for writing about 6,500 hymn texts. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, and after graduating with a master’s degree in classical languages and literature, Charles followed his father and brother into Anglican orders in 1735. He was a younger brother of Methodist founder John Wesley, and Anglican cleric Samuel Wesley the Younger, the father of musician Samuel Wesley, and the grandfather of musician Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

Gustav Holst (1874-1934) was an English composer, arranger and teacher. Best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he composed many other works across a range of genres, although none achieved comparable success. There were professional musicians in the previous three generations of Holst’s family and it was clear from an early age that he would follow the same calling. He had hoped to become a pianist but was prevented by neuritis in his right arm. Despite his father’s reservations, he pursued a career as a composer, studying at the Royal College of Music under Charles Villiers Stanford. Unable to support himself by his compositions, he played the trombone professionally and later became a teacher—a great one, according to his colleague Ralph Vaughan Williams. Among other teaching activities, he built up a strong tradition of performance at Morley College, where he served as musical director from 1907 until 1924 and pioneered music education for women at St Paul’s Girls’ School, where he taught from 1905 until his death. Holst’s works were played frequently in the early years of the 20th century, but it was not until the international success of The Planets in the years immediately after the First World War that he became a well-known figure. A shy man, he did not welcome this fame and preferred to be left in peace to compose and teach. In his later years, his uncompromising, personal style of composition struck many music lovers as too austere, and his brief popularity declined. Nevertheless, he was a considerable influence on a number of younger English composers, including Benjamin Britten.

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) was born in London, the youngest child in an extraordinarily gifted family. Her father was the Italian poet Gabriele Rossetti, and her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti also became a poet and a painter. Rossetti’s first poems were written in 1842 and printed in her grandfather’s private press. In 1850, under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyne, she contributed seven poems to the Pre-Raphaelite journal The Germ, which had been founded by her brother William Michael and his friends. Rossetti is best known for her ballads and her mystic religious lyrics, and her poetry is marked by symbolism and intense feeling. Her collection of poetry called Goblin Market and Other Poems was published in 1862, and it established Rossetti as a significant voice in Victorian poetry.

Dan Forrest (b. 1978) has been described as having an undoubted gift for writing beautiful music that is truly magical, with works hailed as magnificent, cleverly constructed sound sculpture, and superb writing … full of spine-tingling moments. In the last decade, Dan’s music has become well established in the U.S., Canada, and abroad. The Fairlawn Senior Choir has presented the Canadian premieres of two of his critically acclaimed major works for choir and orchestra – Requiem for the Living (2014) and Jubilate Deo (2017). Jubilate Deo features the text of Psalm 100, sung in seven languages: Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Zulu, Spanish, and English. Dan holds a doctoral degree in composition from the University of Kansas, as well as a master’s degree in piano performance. He keeps a busy schedule doing commissions, workshops, recordings, adjunct professorships, and residencies with universities, churches and community choirs, teaching composition, coaching, and collaborating as an accompanist.

James Montgomery (1771-1854) was a Scottish-born hymn writer, poet and editor, who eventually settled in Sheffield, England. He was raised in the Moravian Church and theologically trained there, and his writings often reflect concern for humanitarian causes, such as the abolition of slavery and the exploitation of child chimney sweeps. His Christmas carol Angels From the Realms of Glory was first printed in a weekly newspaper on Christmas Eve, 1816. In Canada and the United States, it is commonly sung to the tune “Regent Square” – which is the tune employed in this morning’s anthem arrangement by Dan Forrest.

John Rutter (b. 1945) is an English composer, conductor, editor, arranger, and record producer, mainly of choral music. He studied music at Clare College, England, and later became the College’s first full-time Director of Music in 1975, leading the Choir to international prominence. In 1981 he founded his own professional choir, the Cambridge Singers, with which he has made many recordings of the sacred choral repertoire. Rutter’s music is very well known and much beloved in choral circles, and is performed worldwide. His larger-scale works – particularly his Gloria (1974), Requiem (1985), and Magnificat (1990) are also well established in the choral repertoire, and the late Sir David Willcocks considered him to be the most gifted composer of his generation.

James Chadwick (1813-1882) was an Anglo-Irish Roman Catholic priest. He is most well known for writing the lyrics of the Christmas carol Angels We Have Heard on High.

Philip Ledger (1937-2012) was an English conductor, composer, organist, pianist, lecturer and teacher. He was educated at Bexhill grammar school and King’s College, Cambridge. As a teenager, he won top prizes in the fellowship examination of the Royal College of Organists, and it was as an organist that he began his professional career, becoming Master of Music at Chelmsford Cathedral in 1962 – at that time, the youngest holder of such a post in the country. In 1974, Ledger succeeded Sir David Willcocks as organist and director of music at King’s College, Cambridge. His work with the chapel choir was known principally through the annual broadcast of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, but also included acclaimed recordings and a touring programme which took the choir to the US and Japan. Fairlawn Senior Choir presented the Canadian premiere of his Requiem – A Thanksgiving for Life in the spring of 2011.

John Mason Neale (1818-1866) was an English priest and scholar, best known as a hymn writer and translator, having enriched English hymnody with many ancient and medieval hymns translated from Latin and Greek. He studied at Cambridge, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1842. He was offered a parish, but chronic ill health, which was to continue throughout his life, prevented him from taking it. In 1854 Neale co-founded the Sisterhood of St. Margaret, an order of women in the Anglican Church dedicated to nursing the sick. Many Anglicans in his day, however, were very suspicious of anything suggestive of Roman Catholicism. Once Neale was attacked and mauled at a funeral of one of the Sisters. From time to time unruly crowds threatened to stone him or to burn his house. He received no honour or preferment in England, and his doctorate was bestowed by an American college (Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut). However, his basic goodness eventually won the confidence of many who had fiercely opposed him, and the Sisterhood of St. Margaret survived and prospered.

Music Sources:

Pifa (Pastoral Symphony) from Messiah George Frideric
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing arr. David Willcocks
Gloria in excelsis Deo III E. Daley Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir
Come, Light of lights E. Daley Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation
Rejoice and Sing This Christmas Morn E. Daley Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and guests
In the Bleak Mid-winter Gustav Holst
Angels, from the Realms of Glory arr. Dan Forrest
Angels We Have Heard on High arr. John Rutter
Choral Commissioning E. Daley Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir and congregation
Good Christian Men, Rejoice arr. Philip Ledger