saint benedict’s table: Advent songs and reflections

Steve Bell at work in the Signpost Music studio preparing Advent podcasts of songs & reflections for saint benedict's table.

Steve Bell at work in the Signpost Music studio preparing Advent podcasts of songs & reflections for saint benedict’s table.

Take time this Advent season to find peace amidst the holiday stress with “In days to come,” a series of six devotional podcasts from the Anglican Church of Canada and St. Benedict’s Table. Bring the joys and frustrations of day-to-day life to a place of stillness and anticipation with each five-minute episode.

At saint benedict’s table we’re big fans of the season of Advent. Last year we released In Days to Come, our book of daily reflections for the season, designed to give readers at least a few minutes each day to retreat from the busy-ness of the wider society’s version of Christmas, and to dwell in the church’s alternative.

Last winter we picked up on a notice calling for proposals for the 2013 edition of the annual Advent podcast series produced by the Anglican Church of Canada, and decided that given our affection for the season we’d see about offering our services. A quick conversation with Steve Bell and Dave Zeglinski at Signpost Music made it clear that they’d be delighted to partner with us in this venture, and so together we offered to produce a series of six five-minute podcasts on behalf of the national church. Word came back in fairly short order that they were interested, and by early spring we had final confirmation.

Once our proposal had been accepted, though, we found ourselves working on a production schedule that actually had us recording the material for these podcasts in the middle of the summer. Recording the spoken word portions felt a bit odd, but even odder was the process of recording new versions of some of our saint benedict’s table Advent music—Jaylene Johnson’s “Come, Lord” and Gord Johnson’s “Jesse Tree”—on one of those rare summer days when the temperature was pushing close to +35°!

The result of our collaborative work is In Days to Come | six podcasts for the season of Advent, which will be released online by the Anglican Church of Canada over the course of the Advent season. Here’s an outline of the series:

  • The Four Last Things – Reflection by Jamie Howison
  • Come, O come Emmanuel – Reflection by Steve Bell, including a new version of the great Advent hymn, and incorporating the poetry of guest contributor Malcolm Guite
  • I Hate the Mall – Reflection by Rachel Twigg Boyce
  • Jesse Tree – Featuring Steve Bell’s new recording of Gord Johnson’s song “The Jesse Tree,” this episode opens with a reflection by Jamie Howison
  • Come, Lord – An original song for Advent by Jaylene Johnson
  • Keening for the Dawn – An original song for Advent by Steve Bell, with special guest Malcolm Guite

For information on downloading these podcasts, visit Project Advent. For those who are not regular podcast listeners, we have manufactured a limited run of the series on CD, which we can make available to you at our cost. Information on how to order is available at that same website address, and we will also make them available at the front desk of Anglican Centre. Our original book is also available at the Centre.