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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Advent 2018

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For this third Sunday in Advent 2018...

Many years ago during a series of summer concerts, I had the privilege of working under the directing baton of organist, composer, and director Richard Wayne Dirksen at the Washington National Cathedral. Below is one of his choral pieces, a glorious celebration of the birth of Christ the Lord. Ever since I obtained a recording of "Welcome All Wonders," I never let a Christmas go by without listening to that recording of this glorious musical celebration of the birth of Christ the Lord. Enjoy:

Welcome all wonders in one sight!
Eternity shut in a span.
Summer in winter, day in night,
Heaven in earth, and God in man.
That He, the old Eternal Word, should be a Child and weep.
Each of us his lamb will bring, each his pair of silver doves,
Till burnt at last in fire of thy fair eyes, ourselves become our own best sacrifice.
Welcome all wonders in one sight!


  1. Beautiful and what a beautiful church. Thanks.

  2. A fine blend of passionate energy, majestic splendor and intimate expressions of reverence and utmost tenderness.

    Your performance of this work at Washington Cathedral, AOW, was undoubtedly one of the very few GOOD things accomplished in that deceptively beautiful Whited Sepulchre on the Potomac in the last hundred years –– at least.



    1. Franco,
      Much of the music world here in the D.C. area has been ruined, IMO.

      In recent years, since Norman Scribner retired from directing the Choral Arts Society of Washington, presentations have been dumbed down and some of the music included in programs has been a grave disappointment to me. Now I very rarely go into D.C. for the various music programs -- the price of tickets is too high for what I consider substandard programs.

  3. I also attended a wonderful piece in that place years ago, FA, and they still had their memorial to the Four Chaplains. It says something when we go back so far!

    Wonderful post, AOW. I must admit I have never quite figured out Advent, even with Google searches. Other than the obvious ... So, have a wonderful Advent Sunday!

  4. I love certain performances at the Washington National Cathedral -- especially vespers in time with the light from the setting sun coming through the stained glass windows. A metaphysical experience!


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