Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Advent readings, carols at Cathedral on Sunday, Dec. 14

Published December 11, 2014

ATLANTA—The Cathedral Choir of Christ the King will celebrate its annual Advent presentation, “A Candlelight Service of Readings and Carols,” on Sunday evening, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m.

This tradition of Scripture and song combines the prophetic expectation of Advent with the joyful fulfillment of Christ’s birth. The visual and acoustic beauty of the cathedral will be enhanced by sparkling illuminations of its stained glass windows, candlelight and renditions of many beloved Christmas carols.

Timothy Wissler, Cathedral organist, will accompany the Cathedral Choir and Schola Nova in special choral music by James MacMillan, Francis Poulenc, Michael McGlynn and others, as well as beloved Christmas carols from “Silent Night” to “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

This ancient service of readings and song has its origins in the office once prayed in monasteries and cathedrals during the night hours of Christmas Eve before midnight Mass. Known in the more recent Anglican tradition as Lessons and Carols, this sequence of prayers, chants and readings originally preceded the great celebration of the Nativity. The service might be described as an extended Liturgy of the Word with dramatic processions of light, ministers and music.

The readings, the choral responses, and the traditional carols recall the words the prophets spoke about Jesus and tell the story of Jesus’ birth in order to prepare hearts for the coming feast of Christmas.

Dr. Wylie Quinn, theologian and musician, notes that the readings are taken from the biblical books of “the Law, the Prophets and the Gospels, bringing together the full witness of the Christian canon. The link between the Old and the New is the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies in the timeless story of the Nativity.”

The music spans over 11 centuries of holiday song from all over the world.

Kevin Culver, Cathedral choirmaster, adds that “music is uniquely able to bridge century, locale and tradition in enlightening the sacred texts and can bring a deeper meaning to all who listen.”

This service, celebrated each Advent for more than 20 years and a cherished tradition for many who attend, shines with the joyous spirit of anticipation and fulfillment of the Lord’s birth. All members of the diocesan family are warmly invited to attend.

The Cathedral of Christ the King is located at 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta. For more information, call the Cathedral concert line at 404-233-2145, ext. 820.