Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy New Year!

There are many things reassuring about tradition in worship. One, I believe, is continuity of worship across time and space — the idea that wherever you go, you’d get consistency. In manufacturing, we’d call that quality control.

So it was more than a little gratifying that the First Sunday in Advent brought the first hymn in my favorite hymnal, with Charles Wesley’s words to the 18th century German tune:
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
I can't say it's my favorite December carol or even my favorite Advent carol. But, as the back pages of the Hymnal 1940 make clear, it's a standard hymn for Advent I, and a great way to signal the beginning of the new church year.

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