The World is About to Turn

Dec 03, 2017

By Mary Mortenson, Director, Prison Congregations of America

 Happy Advent!  For those of us who follow a liturgical tradition, this is the beginning of the church year.  This season of Advent is the four weeks prior to Christmas, and is meant as a time of waiting and preparation, not only for the Christ Child, but for the coming again, whenever that may be.  Advent is counter-cultural and counter-intuitive.  How does one wait when there are concerts, children’s programs, shopping, baking and parties?  Instead of being quietly hopeful and patient, we all too often find ourselves exhausted.  Then to make matters even odder for we purists, this year the fourth Sunday of Advent is December 24th!  Thus, some congregations will celebrate Advent on Sunday morning and Christmas on Sunday night.  Seems like a lot of juggling, doesn’t it?

 I, for one, love this season of Advent.  I like being deliberate about the wait for Christmas, and I like that Advent helps me to breathe – to slow down.  This year I have seen a theme for the season entitled, “The World is About to Turn.” This is based on a song called The Canticle of the Turning, written by Rory Cooney and set to a traditional Irish tune. You see, the waiting of Advent, while quiet and slower than the holiday chaos, is not passive.  Change is always coming, and if we are followers of Jesus, the Incarnate One, we can’t help but be a part of the change.  My Advent blessing to you is to share some of the lyrics of this beautiful song. 


Canticle of the Turning

My soul cries out with a joyful shout that the God of my heart is great,

And my spirit sings of the wondrous things that you bring to the ones who wait.

You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight, and my weakness you did not spurn,

So from east to west shall my name be blest. Could the world be about to turn?

My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn.

Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!

From the halls of power to the fortress tower, not a stone will be left on stone.

Let the king beware for your justice tears ev’ry tyrant from his throne.

The hungry poor shall weep no more, for the food they can never earn;

There are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed, for the world is about to turn.

Category: Light

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