by Jenny Tisi
According to the Celtic Advent Calendar, the last 7 days of Advent are a time to reflect on the great “O Antiphons.” “O Come, O Come Emanuel”, the 7th of the “O Antiphons”, is today’s reflection. This being the last day of Advent, a season I didn’t recognize for most of my life, I have thought about how much the season has meant to me since I have come to All Saints. The calendar asks, “How is God with you?”
I will let you in on a little secret. Do you know what my favorite part of Advent has become? Every Sunday during Advent, I get to lead the congregation and children’s and youth choirs in the candle lighting anthem. I wish that I could share my very spot with you at that very time. After the children sing through the anthem, I turn to the church to bring them in on the anthem. In those seconds, I get that feeling of “Wait for it!! Here it comes!!” When that moment comes, I hear the voices of the dear children and youth in back of me, the voices of our congregation in front of me and on the sides of me. It is in that moment when I feel the strongest presence of God. It is a place of all that Advent embodies – Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. To be surrounded by it on every side of my being by voices of our church is the closest I feel to God being in my life. It is in that very moment where I try to put away the welcomed stresses of being a church musician during the month of December and to grab hold of that special warm presence of God. I bottle up that feeling and reflect upon it during some of the more stressful times in my life. God lives in the hearts of the people of All Saints and comes out on the breath of the voices of angels. I wait for that feeling every year.