This week the adult choir sings two anthems for Advent, both recent settings of much older texts. The first, “Drop down, ye heavens, from above” by the British composer Judith Weir (b. 1954), sets a portion of an ancient text known as the Advent Prose, or in Latin, Rorate caeli desuper. This text, a compilation of verses from the book of Isaiah, is traditionally ascribed to the fourth-century Aurelius Clemens Prudentius. Weir currently serves as Master of the Queen’s Music. The second anthem is a setting of “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree,” a poem which first appeared in a London magazine in 1761. The first hymnal to include the poem, however, was published in America, in New Hampshire in 1784. The apple tree as a metaphor for Christ is unusual, but in line with references in Song of Songs and in Revelations to trees as metaphors. Christ as apple tree also conforms to Paul’s designation of Christ as the “second Adam” — since the first Adam fell by way of an apple tree, the second – the tree of life – must redeem humanity. The choir sings a version by American composer Daniel Pinkham (1923-2006).