Instructions for contributing to the Benefice Advent Calendar

Vicar David asked me (David Chapman) to build an online Advent calendar with something different to open on each day of Advent. It's now ready, but it's empty and needs to be filled with goodies. This is your chance to share an Advent "gift" with everyone: a web link to a video, a piece of music, a picture, a poem, a passage of scripture, etc. Something of meaning to you.

You can see what the calendar will look like here, although all the doors are locked at the moment and no candles are lit on the wreath (it's not Advent yet).

The doors get unlocked a day at a time as Advent progresses.

Your "gift" should be a link to something such as a YouTube video, a piece of music, an image, a poem, a passage of scripture, etc. If you want something from scripture, give me the reference and preferred translation and I'll find it online for you.

I've also allocated space for you to say (reasonably briefly) why your gift is special for you, or why you like it, or a bit more about what it is. It's up to you.

Here's an example of what the gift for a day might look like. I think I've gone over the top in the description, so let it serve as an example of how to take it too far. Sometimes less is more!

The gift for 1 December is contributed by David Chapman

The combination of the words of Charles Wesley with the music of Sir John Stainer from The Crucifixion make this my favourite Advent hymn.

Wesley's words describe a coming of Jesus into our hearts, which sits with me much more easily than than the literal coming in the clouds and "The Rapture" which gained popularity in Victorian Evangelical circles.

Stainer's lovely melody is perfectly underpinned by carefully crafted vocal parts decorated with rapidly moving modulations. I love singing the tenor line which is simple but sits so perfectly among the other parts. Somehow, Stainer has put accidentals (6 of them) only in the alto line, despite all the modulations. He also avoids the ubiquitous Victorian slush of the diminished fifth.

The version I've linked to has a splendid, appropriately restrained, descant in the last verse which preserves the original harmony. Why change something that's as near perfect as we'll get this side of the heavenly choirs?

Now click on today's link:

To submit your contribution, send me an email at telling me:

It'll be first come, first served for specific dates. Please note that Advent Sunday (29th Nov), and the first 3 Wednesdays (2nd, 9th and 16th) are reserved for Vicar David. Christmas Day is also reserved.

The calendar will be linked from St John's and St Ben's web pages next week.