Published December 6, 2013
ATLANTA—The Cathedral Choir of Christ the King will celebrate the return of its annual presentation, “A Candlelight Service of Readings and Carols,” on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m.
This Cathedral tradition combines the prophetic expectation of Advent with the joyful fulfillment of Christ’s birth. The visual and acoustic environment of the Cathedral will be enhanced by sparkling illuminations of the church’s stained glass windows, candlelight and renditions of many beloved Christmas carols.
The Cathedral of Christ the King is located at 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, in Atlanta.
This ancient service of readings and song has its origins in the Catholic Office of Matins, prayed in monasteries and cathedrals during the night hours of Christmas Eve.
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 of the Lord during the Night (Midnight Mass).
The readings, choral responses, and the traditional carols recall the words the prophets spoke about Jesus and tell the story of his birth.
The service might be better described as an extended Liturgy of the Word with dramatic processions of light, ministers and music.
The music for the service offers illumination to the texts both old and new and spans 11 centuries of holiday song from all over the world.
Cathedral choirmaster Kevin Culver said, “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 year’s presentation will feature special choral music by James MacMillan, Marc Antoine Charpentier and Benjamin Britten, among others. The service also offers a “sneak-preview” of the favorite Christmas carols of the season from “Silent Night” to “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”
Cathedral organist Timothy Wissler and harpist Monica Hargrave will accompany the Cathedral Choir and Schola Nova, the women’s choir of Christ the King.
All are welcome to attend.
For more information on the musical program, call the Cathedral Concert Line at 404-233-2145, ext. 820.