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St Machar Cathedral

Music for December 2021

With the music for the month of December we enter the season of Advent, that preparation for Christmas which contains some of the most attractive and best-loved music.  This month we present a wide range, from traditional music, through sixteenth century composer John Redford, to new music written by John Rutter, John Harper and Abbot Alan Rees, O.S.B.

Organ music will be based on works by J.S.Bach, with several of the Advent Chorale Preludes and the mighty Fantasia on In Dulci Jubilo, which has in recent years been played as the conclusion to the Watchnight Service on Christmas Eve. Throughout the month will be several movements from the striking and original O Antiphon  Sequence by the contemporary British composer Cecilia MacDowall will be played.


 Sunday Dec.5 – Second Sunday in Advent.

Music before the Service: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 659 :  J.S.Bach(1685-1750)

Introit: Hark a Herald voice is calling:      John Harper (b.1947)

Anthem: Rejoice in the Lord:       J. Redford (c.1500-1547)

Music for Contemplation: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599:  J.S.Bach

Recessional: Gottes Sohn ist kommen, BWV 600:    J.S.Bach


Sunday Dec.12th. Third Sunday in Advent.

Music before the Service: O Radix Jesse:     Cecilia McDowall(b.1951)

Introit: A winter rose shall blossom:      Alan Rees (1941-2005)

Anthem: And the Glory(Messiah):      G.F. Handel (1685-1759)

Music for Contemplation: Comfort ye (Messiah);    G.F.Handel.

Recessional: O Clavis David:       Cecilia McDowall(b.1951)


Sunday Dec. 19th. Fourth Sunday in Advent.

Music before the Service: Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott, BWV 602:  J.S.Bach(16851750)

Introit: The King shall come:       Plainchant mode viii.g

Anthem: Magnificat:        Plainchant Mode viii.b

With Antiphon for 4th Sunday in Advent – ‘Drop down dew’

Music for Contemplation: The Lord bless you:     J.Rutter (b.1945)

Recessional: Herr Christ, der ein’ge Gottessohn, BWV 601:   J.S.Bach


Friday Dec. 24th – Christmas Eve 11 p.m.

Lessons and Carols (see separate sheet for information on the musical content)


Saturday Dec. 25th. Christmas Day

Music before the Service: Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV 603:   J.S.Bach(1685-1750)

Introit: In dulci jubilo:     Anon 14th.cent. arr R.L.de Persall (1785—1856)

Anthem: Myn lyking:        R.R.Terry (1865-1938)

Music for Contemplation: Den die Hirten lobten sehre:    H.Walcha (1907-1991)

Recessional: In Dulci Jubilo:       J.S.Bach


Sunday Dec. 26th.

Music before the Service:

Introit: Il est né le Divin Enfant: French trad.

Anthem: How far is it to Bethlehem:      TraditIonal

Music for Contemplation: A Christmas Canon on Forest Green:   Andrew Carter(b.1939)

Recessional: Von Himmel Hoch, BWV 738:     J.S.Bach (1685-1750)


Director of Music and Organist: Dr. Roger B.Wiliams, MBE, DMus)

(1.12.2021)