Advent Evenings

Our Advent Evenings will be held via Zoom on December 2, 9, 16, and 23 from 7:00 – 8:15 PM. This year, we will be focusing on “The Canticles” we pray in the Book of Common Prayer. As we prepare to receive the incarnate Lord on Christmas, it is our prayer that you will find these Advent Reflections meaningful.

Advent Evenings will be presented via Zoom on Wednesday evenings, from 7:00 to 8:15 PM, preceded by Fellowship at 6:00 PM. Come and go as needed to fit your schedule. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

Below is the schedule for our Advent Evenings.  More detailed information is listed to the right.

December 2: The Song of Mary – The Magnificat
December 9: The Song of Zechariah – Benedictus Dominus Deus
December 16: The Song of Simeon – Nunc Dimittis
December 23: A Song to the Lamb – Dignus Es

Wednesday, December 2

The Song of Mary – The Magnificat

Our first class is on “The Magnificat” or The Song of Mary.

The Song of Mary is often read or sung during the rotation of daily prayers in The Episcopal Church. However, did you know that incorporating this “canticle” was quite controversial and not in the Book of Common Prayer 1789 or was banned by a certain South American country in the 1980s? Mary’s song is a prayer form and has inspired countless of Christians into living into Christian discipleship.

Our first study on “The Magnificat” will be led by our rector, The Rev. Dr. Manoj Mathew Zacharia,. Fr. Manoj will outline its form, literary antecedents, theological and liturgical history. We will also explore how “praying” shapes believing and the implications for praying Mary’s song.

Wednesday, December 9

The Song of Zechariah – Benedictus Dominus Deus

From the Judean hills comes a song that has been part of Christian liturgy since the seventh century. It is a song of fulfillment and prophecy, looking to the past and to the future. Join Fr. Dion on an exploration of this well-traveled canticle’s history, theology and language. The Benedictus also contains one of Fr. Dion’s favorite words in all of the Greek New Testament. It is a word that will help illuminate the purpose of God’s work through Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 16

The Song of Simeon – Nunc Dimittis

The Song of Simeon comes from the Gospel of Luke (2:29-32) and is a beloved component of Compline and other offices. Wrapped in the antiphon (guiding us waking, oh Lord, and guard us sleeping…), its familiar words bring succor to the soul. Alyssa Pasternak Post guides our conversation, which will be part scripture exploration, and part meditation on the words, images and silence of the Presentation scene. She’ll share, too, about her family’s devotion to these words and the mystery of the moment. Pray this canticle with us on December 16.

[Image attribution: Swanson, John August. Presentation in the Temple, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved November 18, 2020]. Original source: – copyright 1988 by John August Swanson.]

Wednesday, December 23

Image Attribution: Reyntien, Patrick. Lamb is Our Light, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved November 19, 2020]. Original source:

A Song to the Lamb – Dignus Es

A Song to the Lamb is a canticle that draws its source from Revelation 4-5.  While the canticle is usually prayed after the New Testament Reading on Tuesday and Friday in Morning Prayer, it has been used as a song of praise during Easter Tide. Our forum will focus on incarnation as the path towards  “at-one-ment.” We will cover the context of the canticle, its use in liturgy, and explore its theological concepts and implications.  Our hope is that through prayerful engagement with this canticle, you will gain an understanding of scripture and a wider appreciation of the mystery of incarnation and atonement.