Wednesday 20 December

O Clavis David

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
(cf Isaiah 22.22, 42.7)

Arvo Pärt. Seiben Magnificat-Antiphonen (1988 / 1991). Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, dir. Tönu Kaljuste.
4. "O Schlüssel Davids, Zepter des Hauses Israel, du öffnest, und niemand kann schließen, du schließt und keine Macht vermag zu öffnen: O komm und öffne den Kerker der Finsternis und die Fessel des Todes."


Titian (c. 1490-1576), Angel of the Annunciation (1520–1522) from Polyptych_of_the_Resurrection, Church of Saints Nazarius and Celsus, Brescia.

Isaiah 7.10-14

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying,Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.Then Isaiah said: ‘Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Psalm 24.1-6

1 The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it:
   the compass of the world and those who dwell therein.
2 For he has founded it upon the seas:
   and established it upon the waters.
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord:
   or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 Those who have clean hands and a pure heart:
   who have not set their soul upon idols, nor sworn their oath to a lie.
5 They shall receive blessing from the Lord:
   and recompense from the God of their salvation.
6 Of such a kind as this are those who seek him:
   those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.

Luke 1.26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God. ’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Magnificat of Acceptance, by Mary Francis, PCC

My soul trembles in the presence of the loving Creator
and my spirit prepares itself to walk hand in hand
with the God who saves Israel
because I have been accepted by God
as a simple helpmate.
Yes, forever in the life of humankind
people will sing of this loving encounter;
through remembering this moment, the faithful
will know all things are possible in God.
Holy is the place within me where God lives.
God's tender fingers reach out from age to age
to touch the softened inner spaces of those
who open their souls in hope.
I have experienced the creative power of God's embracing arms
and I know the cleansing fire of unconditional love.
I am freed from all earthly authority
and know my bonding to the Author of all earthly things.
I am filled with the news of good things;
my favor with God,
faithful trust in the gentle shadow of the Most High,
the mystery or my son, Jesus,
the gift of companionship with my beloved kinswoman,
Elizabeth. who believes as I believe.
The place in my heart that I had filled
with thoughts of fear and inadequacy
has been emptied and I am quiet within.
God comes to save Israel, our holy family,
remembering that we are the ones who remember,
... according to the kinship we have known ...
remembering that we are the ones who remember
and that where God and people trust each other
there is home.

We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that, as we have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his cross and passion we may be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Collect for the Annunciation, BCP, 1662)

Johan Sebastian Bach. Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern ('How beautifully the morning star shines'). First movement of cantata BWV1, composed for the feast of the Annunciation 25 March 1725 at St Thomas Liepzig. Based on a hymn attributed, in part, to Philipp Nicolai (1599). Stuttgart Bach Collegium, cond. Helmuth Rilling.

1. Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern
Voll Gnad' und Wahrheit von dem Herrn,
Die süße Wurzel Jesse!
Du Sohn David zus Jakobs Stamm,
Mein König und mein Bräutigam,
Hast mir mein Herz besessen,
Lieblich, freundli,
Schön und herrlich, groß und ehrlich,
Reich von Gaben,
Hoch und sehr prächtig erhaben!

2. Ei meine Perl', du werte Kron',
Wahr'r Gottes- und Mariensohn,
Ein hochgeborner König!
Mein Herz heißt dich ein Lilium,
Dein süßes Evangelium
Ist lauter Milch und Honig.
Ei mein Blümlein,
Hosianna, himmlisch Manna,
Das wir essen,
Deiner kann ich nicht vergessen!

3. Geuss sehr tief in mein Herz hinein,
Du heller Jaspis und Rubin,
Die Flamme deiner Liebe
Und erfreu' mich, daß ich doch bleib'
An deinem auserwählten Leib
Ein' lebendige Rippe!
Nach dir ist mir,
Gratiosa coeli rosa,
Krank und glimmet
Mein Herz, durch Liebe verwundet.

4. Von Gott kommt mir ein Freudenschein,
Wenn du mit deinen Äugelein
Mich freundlich tust anblicken.
O Herr Jesu, mein trautes Gut,
Dein Wort, dein Geist, dein Leib und Blut
Mich innerlich erquicken!
Nimm mich freundlich
In dein' Arme, daß ich warme
Werd' von Gnaden!
Auf dein Wort komm' ich geladen.

5. Herr Gott Vater, mein starker Held,
Du hast mich ewig vor der Welt
In deinem Sohn geliebet.
Dein Sohn hat mich ihm selbst vertraut,
Er ist mein Schatz, ich bin sein' Braut,
Sehr hoch in ihm erfreuet.
Eia, eia,
Himmlisch Leben wird er geben
Mir dort oben!
Ewig soll mein Herz ihn loben.

6. Zwingt die Saiten in Zithara
Und laßt die süße Musika
Ganz freudenreich erschallen,
Daß ich möge mit Jesulein,
Dem wunderschönen Bräut'gam mein,
In steter Liebe wallen!
Singet, springet,
Jubilieret, triumphieret,
Dankt dem Herren!
Groß ist der König der Ehren!

7. Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh,
Daß mein Schatz ist das A und O.
Der Anfang und das Ende!
Er wird mich doch zu seinem Preis
Aufnehmen in das Paradeis,
Des klopf' ich in die Hände.
Amen! Amen!
Komm, du schöne Freudenkrone,
Bleib nicht lange,
Deiner wart' ich mit Verlangen!

1. How beautifully shines the morning star
full of grace and truth from the Lord,
the sweet root of Jesse!
You son of David from the line of Jacob,
my king and my bridegroom,
have taken posession of my heart,
[you who are] lovely,friendly,
beautiful and glorious, great and honourable,
rich in gifts,
lofty and exalted in splendour!

2. Ah my pearl, my precious crown,
true son of God and Mary,
a king of most noble birth!
My heart calls you a lily,
your sweet gospel
is pure milk and honey.
Ah my dear flower,
hosanna, heavenly manna,
that we eat,
I cannot forget you!

3. Pour most deeply within my heart,
you clear jasper and ruby,
the flames of your love,
and make me rejoice, so that I may remain
in your chosen body
a living rib!
Because of you,
gracious rose of heaven,
my heart is sick and smouldering,
wounded with love.

4. A joyful light from God comes to me
when with your dear eyes
you look on me as a friend.
Oh Lord Jesus, my beloved good,
your word, your spirit, your body and blood
refresh me within.
Take me like a friend
in your arms, so that I may become warm
with your grace
To your word I come invited.

5. Lord, God,Father, my mighty hero,
before the world you have
loved me in your son.
Your son has betrothed me to himself,
he is my treasure, I am his bride,
most greatly I rejoice in him.
Yes, yes.
Heavenly life he will give me
in the the world above!
My heart shall praise him for ever.

6. Pluck the strings on the harp
and let the sweet music
resound full of joy,
so that with dear Jesus,
my most beautiful bridegroom,
in constant love I may make my pilgrimage!
Sing, leap,
rejoice, triumph,
thank the Lord!
Great is the king of honour!

7. How full I am therefore of heartfelt joy
that my treasure is the alpha and the omega,
the beginning and the end;
To his reward he will
take me up to paradise,
and so I clap my hands
Amen! Amen!
Come, you sweet crown of joy,
do not long delay,
I wait for you with longing.