Thoughts and Songs for Advent: A Three-Part Series with Steve Bell

“Excellent and unusual stuff here from master guitarist, singer, songwriter, and sage Steve Bell. Not your typical Advent meditation!”

John G Stackhouse Jr. – Author of Can I Believe? Christianity for the Hesitant (Oxford University Press)

In the fall of 2020, Westmont College commissioned me to prepare and produce three short videos reflecting on the rich tradition of Advent. The series was offered in the weeks leading up to Christmas to their students, staff, alumni, and their wider community of support.

This year, with Westmont’s blessing, we can make the series available more broadly, and so, here they are for you to enjoy and to share as you wish.

And just for fun, at the bottom, I’ve posted a new video of an Advent song I wrote with Malcolm Guite called “Keening for the Dawn.” The video is part of a free online Christmas concert in support of Investing Hope Foundation. The concert also features my friends Harmony Through Harmony who you will enjoy very much. That concert is available to watch HERE until January 31, 2021.

Celebrating Advent with Steve Bell

(click titles to watch)

Episode 1: We Are Waiting (running time: 18 minutes)

Songs include:
1. Holy Lord
2. The Magnificat
3. Wait Alone in Stillness

Episode 2: The Feast of Saint John of Kronstadt (running time: 23 minutes)

Songs include:
1. Peace Be Unto You
2. Old Sage
3. Burning Ember

Episode 3: The Threefold Coming of Christ: Eve of Nativity (running time: 19 minutes)

Songs include:
1. Christmas Medley (instrumental)
2. Even So, Lord Jesus Come
3. Descent

Keening for the Dawn: Music Video

music by Steve Bell/ lyric by Steve Bell and Malcolm Guite

On and on the night goes on
Brooding dark before the dawn
We are waiting
Worried lips rehearse our creeds
Bellies swollen with your seed
We are waiting

Hardened shards of broken bread
Small consolations in your stead
Soured wine a tonic for the pain
Dutifully we take our fill
Still, we long to see your face again

Keening for the dawn as such
Stirs the memory of your touch
We are waiting
We are waiting

Hungry work, these endless feasts
Shriveling as we all increase
We are waiting
Weary eyes take in the sights
Smarting under tinselled lights
We are waiting

Break the too-familiar word
Hearing strains we’ve never heard
A double-edge that pierces through the pain
All that we shall see fulfilled
The dawning day we see your face again
Keening for the dawn as such
Stirs the memory of your touch
We are waiting
We are waiting

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