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A ‘Darkness to Light’ service in St Mary’s Church, Pilton on Advent Sunday 2008

A ‘Darkness to Light’ service in St Mary’s Church, Pilton on Advent Sunday 2008 /media/flashcomm?action=mediaview&context=normal&id=274

For many years a ‘Darkness to Light’ service was held in St Mary’s Church, Pilton, on Advent Sunday. The service prepares for and celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas.

The Church starts in darkness and is gradually lit by candles as the story unfolds through the great Advent Antiphons (responses by a choir or congregation ) which were discovered on an 11th Century manuscript during repair work in Salisbury Cathedral.

John Piper, the Organist and Choirmaster at St Mary's Church started a simple Advent service using those antiphons, readings and hymns. Anne Maude, his successor, developed it further adding in things like the Matins & Vesper responsery plus more anthems. It ended up with a service devoted to the sung antiphons, bible extracts, hymns and anthems (with a lot of Bach, Palestrina and Ravenscroft, up to modern anthems at end of service by 20th Century composers).

This is a photograph, by Martin Haddrill, of the last time it took place in 2008, appeared in the 2011 Pilton Calendar. Thanks to Anne Maude for the explanation.

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