Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Cathedral Presents Dramatic Lessons And Carols

Published December 15, 2005

The Cathedral of Christ the King will present the Cathedral Choir in its 16th annual presentation of a candlelight service of Advent Lessons and Carols on

Saturday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will preside at the service, which will explore the mystery and hope surrounding the coming of the Savior through reading and song.

Advent Lessons and Carols, sung in churches all over the world since the late 1800s, is illuminated only by candlelight and the sparkling music of the season. This non-eucharistic service might be better described as an extended Liturgy of the Word with dramatic processions of light, ministers and music.

Dr. Wylie Quinn, theologian and musician, noted that “the Lessons, or readings, are taken from the Law, the Prophets and the Gospels, bringing together the full witness of the Christian canon. Sometimes the link between the Old and the New is the fulfillment of prophecy: the branch that shall come forth from the stem of Jesse; the Virgin who will conceive and bear a son; the peaceable Messianic kingdom where the lion will lie down with the lamb and a little child shall lead them.”

Likewise, the music for the service offers illumination to the ancient texts and spans over 11 centuries of holiday song from all over the world.

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

This year’s service will feature music by Giovanni Palestrina, Charles Villiers Stanford, Benjamin Britten and John Tavener and will include a rousing number from the early American folk hymn tradition entitled “The Midnight Cry” as well as traditional chants of the season.

The Cathedral Choir and Parish Choir will be under the direction of Culver and will be accompanied by the Cathedral organist Timothy Wissler and harpist Julie Albertson.

This service, long a favorite of Atlanta music lovers, shines with the joyous spirit and anticipation of the holiday season, and all are invited to attend.

For more information call the Cathedral Concert Line at (404) 233-2145, ext. 470. Donations are accepted at the door. Ample parking is available.