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‘Advent Calendar’ is a poem by former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. The poem was published in his first book of poetry, ‘After Silent Centuries,’ and is now available in the collection, ‘Poems by Rowan Williams.’ Advent Calendar was was set to music by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies as one of the 44 Anthems in the Choirbook for the Queen, which was launched at Southwark Cathedral in November 2011. Our Anglican heritage contains many thoughtful works which weave together theology and creative expression. Archbishop Williams had this gift.

 

Advent Calendar

 

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to the bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.
He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.
He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.
He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

 

Post submitted by The Rev. Jennifer Adams, Rector