We are very blessed at St Michael's to have such a dedicated team of musicians who offer their time and skills so generously to beautify our worship.
They have been very busy this month preparing for special services, and we invite you to join us for our service of nine lessons and carols a week tomorrow at 5pm (Sunday 22 December).
One of the pieces they're preparing for that occasion is A Spotless Rose by Herbert Howells. It is a beautiful anthem, for unaccompanied choir and baritone solo, and particularly fitting to include it in our service this year, as it was composed and first performed in 1919.
We hope you will be able to join us for this beautiful candelit service and for some seasonal refreshments afterwards.
Here is the text of the piece, a beautiful meditation that I hope will enrich your prayers as we come closer to Christmas.
A spotless Rose is blowing, Sprung from a tender root, Of ancient seers' foreshowing, Of Jesse promised fruit; Its fairest bud unfolds to light Amid the cold, cold winter, and in the dark mid-night.
The Rose which I am singing, Whereof Isaiah said, Is from its sweet root springing In Mary, purest Maid; For through our God's great love and might The Blessed Babe she bare us In a cold, cold winter's night.
Anonymous, 14th Century