Rejoice! Rejoice! Daily refrains for Benedictus and Magnificat in Advent

In 2002 Jim Cotter published his set of antiphons/refrains based on the well known Great ‘O’ refrains that are traditional from the 17th (or in the Sarum rite the 16th December) at Evensong as Expectant: Verses for Advent (Cairns Publications). It is a delightful collection of images of longing and waiting. The O refrains are best known in the form of the hymn “O come, O come, Emmanuel …” and Jim wrote his refrains in the same metre so that they can be sung to the well-known tune.

In the Advent-Christmas volume of his series Celebrating the Christian Year (Canterbury press 2005) Alan Griffiths provides a tone to sing the verses of the Magnificat to with verses using the hymn tune. He provides his version of the ‘O’ antiphons for each day, to be sung before and after the canticle and the chorus sung between the stanzas.

Adapting these two ideas I have created a booklet of Jim Cotter’s verses (one for each day of Advent) with the Benedictus and Magnificat canticles in the Common Worship translation. I have used this setting for several years and think it works and wears quite well.