Published December 7, 2006
The Cathedral of Christ the King will present the Cathedral Choir and the Cathedral Schola Nova in its 17th annual presentation of “A Candlelight Service of Advent Lessons and Carols” on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 8 p.m. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will preside at this beautiful service, which explores the mystery and hope surrounding the coming of the Savior through Scripture readings and songs.
Advent lessons and carols, sung in churches all over the world since the late 1800s, is a program illuminated only by candlelight and the music of the season. This hour-long 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, notes 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 illuminates the ancient texts and spans over 11 centuries of holiday song from all over the world.
Kevin Culver, choirmaster at the Cathedral, said, “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.”
Culver said this year’s service will feature a stunning combined arrangement of “Lo How a Rose” by the 17th century German composer Michael Praetorius and 20th century Englishman Donald Cashmore, Gerald Near’s stirring “Magnificat,” a rousing 16th century Spanish folk song, a delightful 15th century annunciation carol, as well as traditional chants of the season.
The Cathedral Choir and Cathedral Schola Nova will be under the direction of Culver and accompanied by Cathedral organist Timothy Wissler, Ph.D., and various instrumentalists.
This service shines with the anticipation and joyous spirit of Advent. All are warmly invited to attend. For more information call the Cathedral concert line at (404) 233-2145, ext. 470.