Monday, 15 December 2014

A Pause in Advent - Week 3

(Oops, as well as Pausing in Advent, there's been an unintentional pause in blogging for the last couple of weeks, ...did I mention this time of year can be hectic?)

Time for another Pause in Advent - that chance for a reflective pause amidst what, for many of us, is a busy time of year as we prepare to welcome the light (in whichever sense you celebrate that - religious or not).

One of my favourite parts of this time of year is the music. Granted, all the old favourites are being trotted out on the radio and in the shops, and I do tire of some of those. But each year there's a new surprise. Often it's been discovered at a school concert: a few years ago it was A Wriggly Nativity - one of the better off-the-peg nativity packages that some UK primary schools buy into these days. One year it was the secondary school choir performing a Tears For Fears number - not your usual Christmas fare but very moving.

This year is the first year where we have no primary school Christmas show to go to and neither child is performing in the Comp's Christmas concert, so we have had rely on the oldies for our Christmas musical thrills. Yesterday Grandad's Choral Society's performed Bach's Christmas Oratorio. In its own way, just as exciting as A Wriggly Nativity. Not least because a tier of Basses and Tenors were balanced precariously at the back of stage and there was a real possibility that someone might fall off the stage, Reception class style. Thankfully there were no accidents. Not many musical surprises either. Bach's very dependable.

No, this year's new discovery for me is 'People, Look East! (Carol of the Advent)'. The words were written by Eleanor Farjeon (who also wrote Morning has Broken) and set to an old French melody. I came across this carol at a concert where it was one of the 'all join in' carols for the audience, most of whom, like me, did not recognise it. I really like this Youtube version without the lyrics, so for this week's Pause in Advent I give you the tune and the words separately. If you're feeling very Christmassy you can karaoke along with the video...

People of the East, Carol of the Advent
People, look East, the time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house as fair as you're able,
Trim the hearth, and set the table.
People, look east, and sing today:
Love, the Guest, is on the way.

Stars, keep the watch, when night is dim.
One more light the bowl shall brim.
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as the sun and moon together.
People, look east, and sing today:
Love, the Star, is on the way.

Angels, announce, with shouts of mirth
Him Who brings new life to earth.
Set ev'ry peak and valley humming
With the word, "The Lord is coming!"
People, look east, and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Eleanor Farjeon

Angela at Tracing Rainbows is hosting PiA this year, and if you visit her blog you can find links to the other bloggers taking part and sharing their Pauses


  1. Oh I love this! Never heard it before, but think it is great. Thanks so much for posting this one. Advent blessings to you and yours xx

  2. We sing this in church sometimes and I really like it.

  3. I do love this song- very beautiful so thank your for introducing me to it!
    I really like Eleanor Farjeon's poetry. She writes beautifully. x

    Merry Christmas!x