Sleaford Parish Church 

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O Magnum Mysterium - O Great Mystery

Posted on December 20, 2019 at 3:15 AM

O Magnum Mysterium – O Great Mystery

Our season of carol services and concerts at Sleaford Parish Church got underway last week with a concert performed by the RAF College Band. It was a superb concert and for me the highlight of the concert was an arrangement of an ancient Christmas hymn – O Magnum Mysterium. The band played a modern arrangement by an American composer but it retained something of the Gregorian Chant in which the hymn had traditionally been sung. This ancient hymn from the 7th century rarely features in the music we often associate with Christmas but its title is as relevant today as it was the: O great mystery! It takes us to the wonder and joy of Christmas. I see something of this at every infant school nativity play that I watch. I see something of this in the faces of children watching the lights in the town and on the tree turned on for the first time. I see it in the illuminated face of a child cradling a Christingle in their hands. I see it in the acts of kindness and thoughtfulness that bring a moment of joy into someone’s life.

O Magnum Msyterium takes us back to the stable in Bethlehem and invites us to gaze on the baby in the manger with wonder and joy. And as we gaze to also reflect on the great mystery that God loves us so much he gave us his son.

I wish you a blessed and wonderful Christmas

Fr. Philip


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