Welcome to the St Michael's Advent Calendar 2019. Over the next few weeks we shall explore some music, poetry and art related to this important season, and we hope it will be an aid to your own spiritual preparations for Christmas.
Tonight we have our Advent Carol Service, with music from our wonderful choir. Please join us at 5pm.
I've chosen a modern composition to begin this year - Dominus dabit from the 'Strathclyde Motets' by Scottish composer James MacMillan. This set of motets was composed originally for the Strathclyde University Chamber Choir.
James MacMillan is a Roman Catholic and has a large liturgical output. He was commissioned to compose a new piece for the visit of Pope Benedict to the UK in 2010 and most recently was commissioned by The Sixteen to compose a piece to celebrate the ensemble's fortieth anniversary.
James MacMillan is an outspoken advocate for the use of plainsong in the liturgy, which is an important part of our liturgical and musical tradition here at St Michael's. He once said: 'The use of simple unadorned melodies from the Catholic treasury of tradition and its great reservoir of musical heritage is the most prayerful and respectful way a Catholic can raise his or her voice at the altar of God.”
The text is from Psalm 85, and is the prescribed text for the Communion antiphon at Mass on the first Sunday of Advent.