Category Archives: Advent

Holiday Concert with the San Francisco Boys Chorus

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Holiday Concert with the San Francisco Boys Chorus
Concert Chorus, Intermediate Chorus and Men’s Chorale

Date & Time: Sunday December 10, 7 p.m.
Venue: 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco
Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors/Students

More Information     Buy tickets online

About the San Francisco Boys Chorus

The San Francisco Boys Chorus (SFBC) is comprised of the Grammy award-winning Concert Chorus, the Graduate Chorale, the Hand Bell Program and the four-level Chorus School, which includes the Preparatory Chorus.

The CONCERT CHORUS is the SFBC’s premiere performing ensemble and is comprised of choristers who exhibit vocal excellence, performance flair, and exceptional musicianship skills. Led by Artistic Director, Ian Robertson, the committed Concert Chorus members, ages 10 to 13, present a full concert series in the San Francisco Bay Area, tour nationally and internationally, record often and appear annually with renowned artistic partners, such as the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet, the Robert Moses Kin Dance Company and other Bay Area arts organizations such as George Cleve’s Midsummer Mozart Festival and Stanford Live.

The Concert Chorus is the level to which Chorus School singers aspire. Under the guidance of our Associate Artistic Director, the San Francisco Boys Chorus faculty team train youngsters through four CHORUS SCHOOL levels, beginning as early as kindergarten in the Preparatory Chorus (Level I) and up through the Junior (Level II), Apprentice (Level III), and in time to the Intermediate Choruses. (Level IV).

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You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

By the Rev. Darren Miner

Bible readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent

Today is the third Sunday of Advent. It is traditionally called “Gaudete Sunday.” Gaudete is Latin for rejoice. This Sunday’s readings are noticeably less gloomy than the readings for the other Sundays of Advent. And some parishes mark the semi-festive tone of the day by using rose-colored vestments and paraments, instead of violet ones. (But in my humble opinion, rose is just a fancy way of saying pink, and I refuse to wear pink!) But as you are probably not terribly interested in my color preferences, let’s just move on and take a look-see at those “less gloomy” readings.

Isaiah by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel

The first reading from Isaiah really has no hints of gloom at all. It prophesies the return of the people to Zion in the midst of a sweeping transformation almost beyond imagining. Isaiah prophesies that those who are marginalized due to disabilities will be healed and reincorporated into society. And not only will the people be transformed, even the wilderness through which they pass will become a luxuriant garden. Finally, we are told, that “they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” What a fitting reading for Rejoice Sunday!

The context of the original prophecy was the Babylonian Exile, which was to last some 70 years. The prophet wrote this inspired poem to give hope to a captive people as they awaited the day of their return. And return they did, but the blind and the lame and the deaf and the mute were not restored to wholeness, and the wilderness was not transformed into a new Eden. The prophecy was fulfilled only in part, it seems. Christian scripture hints that there is another, deeper fulfilment of this prophecy yet to occur. We find references to this in the Gospel reading from Matthew. It implies that the complete fulfillment of this prophecy will come only at the consummation of the Kingdom of God, which began to break into this world with the first coming of the Messiah and will reach its fullness only at his second coming.

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Conjugating God: The Past, Present, and Future Tenses

By the Rev. Darren Miner

For a printable pdf version click here.

Gospel Reading

✠ In the Name of him who was, and is, and is to come. Amen.

Today is the fourth and final Sunday of Advent, and Christmas is right around the corner. (But I bet you already knew that!) The Gospel reading we heard today is a familiar one. We hear the first part each year at the feast of the Visitation, and we hear the second part at the feast of St. Mary the Virgin. On those feast days, the focus is quite rightly on Mary. Today the focus is on what God has done in the past, continues to do in the present, and will do again in the future—and what that means for us!

The story takes place right after the archangel Gabriel has announced to Mary that she has been chosen to bear the Son of God. Her response is to visit her elderly cousin who is miraculously pregnant. The Church Fathers assure us that Mary does not visit her cousin Elizabeth so as to verify what the archangel had told her. Mary is not a doubter. But perhaps she just needs to share her joy with one who will understand it.

At the moment that Mary enters Elizabeth’s house and greets her cousin, the child in Elizabeth’s womb, the prophet John the Baptist, recognizes the presence of his Lord in Mary’s womb and gives a mighty and prophetic kick. At that same moment, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit, and with a mighty shout, she prophesies the message that her unborn son cannot yet proclaim: namely, that Mary and her child are uniquely and supremely blessed by God.

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Advent Lessons and Carols

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Advent Lessons and Carols service, tonight, Saturday December 19 at 6:30 pm. For details on the service visit https://sunsetarts.wordpress.com/festival-of-lessons-and-carols/

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A Tale of Two Advents

By the Rev. Darren Miner

Click here for a printable pdf version of the text.

Lectionary Reading

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be
acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

Today is the first day of the season of Advent, and the start of a new liturgical year. The basic meaning of the word advent is “coming.” In Christian terms, it refers more specifically to the Coming of the Messiah. Note that the name of this season is singular, Advent. Well, I think someone must have made a mistake! We ought to call the season Advents, with an “s.” Because this season has two distinct foci: the first coming, or advent, of our Lord some 2000 years ago and the Second Coming that we still await. The readings today testify to the duality of this season.

The first reading from that gloomy Gus, Jeremiah, is like a ray of light breaking through the clouds on a dark and dismal day. Jeremiah is renowned for his oracles of doom, yet here we find him giving us a word of hope. He predicts that a descendant of King David will one day rule over the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah and bring peace, and the people of God will once again know justice and righteousness. This is, of course, a classic Messianic prophecy. And Christians find its fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah. We believe that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, prophesied by the prophets of old. And yet, in all truth, even after his coming to us, God’s people are still waiting for his righteous rule. Jerusalem does not yet live in safety; the world does not yet experience the shalom of God. And so while our Jewish brothers and sisters wait for the first coming, the first advent, of the Messiah. We Christians await the Second Advent, when the Messiah will come again in power and glory to bring justice and righteous, not just to Israel and Judah, but to the whole world.

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Advent 2015

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November 29, 2015 · 2:16 am

The Advent ‘O Antiphons’ and the coded message

Recently Fr. Joe Holt and I were discussing the tradition of singing ‘O Antiphons’ during advent leading up the Christmas Eve. Not being familiar with this tradition, I did some research and I discovered a fascinating history of the church where seven antiphons that start with the letter O (hence called the O antiphons), followed by the Magnificat were sung or recited at vesper services during Advent.

Each of the seven antiphons are sung from Dec 17 – 23 culminating and pointing towards Christmas eve on Dec 24. The seven antiphons highlight a title of the Messiah:  O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel.

If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one – Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia, you get the Latin words ‘ero cras’, which means, “Tomorrow, I will come.”

You can find more information here. You can also here a chant version of the antiphons here. A beautiful setting by Arvo Pärt can be heard here: Part I, Part II.

~From your Music Director @Incarnation

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Advent IV

AdventIV

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Sunday services at Incarnation:

  • 8 a.m. (Rite I) (Traditional English),
  • 10 a.m. (Rite II) (Choral Eucharist, Modern English),
  • 11:30 a.m. (Chinese).

You can find the readings for Advent IV here. Have a blessed day!

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Several ways to celebrate Advent online

  1. Read/View the Advent message from the Presiding Bishop http://www.episcopalchurch.org/notice/presiding-bishop%E2%80%99s-advent-message-2013-%E2%80%9Cit%E2%80%99s-time-be-still-and-listen%E2%80%9D
  2. Live Advent Services from the Episcopal Church. Dec 8, 15 and 24 http://www.episcopalchurch.org/notice/three-live-advent-services-offered-episcopal-church
  3. 2013 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. For details visit http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/events/chapel-services/nine-lessons.html

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Advent III, Dec 15 2013

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Sunday services at Incarnation:

  • 8 a.m. (Rite I),
  • 10 a.m. (Rite II),
  • 11:30 a.m. (Chinese).

You can find the readings for Advent III here. Have a blessed day!Image

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