Inspirational Bible reflections join a festival of seasonal music in the Reflections for Advent series of 10-minute podcasts, available from the Church of England website and iTunes.
In his introductory video the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Willams, describes Advent as a time to journey towards “something better, something fuller, and something more joyful”. He adds that “the invitation for us, in these Reflections for Advent, is to embark on that journey – that opening up towards the light – knowing confidently that there will be a bursting through into light, into fresh air, into the newness that Christmas brings”.
In the podcasts, the Revd Canon Angela Tilby reads reflections on Revelation 19 to 22, while the Revd Prof Jeff Astley looks at passages from 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Jude and 2 Peter – all of these reflections taken from Church House Publishing’s popular Reflections for Daily Prayer book, Kindle eBook and iPhone app.
Musical contributions include River of Heaven by Jennifer Bell, a song for voice and 12-string guitar inspired by Revelation 22.1-3. It was sourced following an invitation on the Church of England website asking musicians to submit Advent-themed compositions for use in the podcasts.
One of the pieces specially recorded for the project is an a capella plainsong solo performed by Fiona Musson, a music student and member of the RSCM Millennium Youth Choir.
New music from contemporary composers includes items composed by Judith Weir and John Tavener for the new critically acclaimed Advent at Merton CD (Delphian Records) from the Choir of Merton College Oxford.
Theme music arranged by Rob Stroh and based on the popular Advent hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” opens the podcasts, and they conclude with a Collect of the day from Common Worship.
Full details of the music and musicians featured are available on a specially published Reflections for Advent webpage: www.churchofengland.org/advent
Reflections for Daily Prayer is available from www.chpublishing.co.uk/reflections