Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Cathedral Choir offers annual celebration of readings and carols

Published December 10, 2015

ATLANTA—The Cathedral Choir of Christ the King in Atlanta will present its annual Advent service, “A Candlelight Service of Readings and Carols,” on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m. The Cathedral is located at 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta.

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 Christmas carols.

This ancient service has its origins in the Catholic Office of Matins, which was 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 as all prepare their hearts for the coming feast of Christmas.

The music for the service offers illumination to the texts both old and new and spans more than 11 centuries of holiday song from all over the world. Kevin Culver, choirmaster at the Cathedral, said 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 year’s presentation will feature choral music by Philip Ledger, Robert Parsons and St. Hildegard von Bingen, among others. It also offers a sneak preview of the favorite carols of the season, including “Silent Night” and “O’ Come All Ye Faithful.”

Cathedral organist Timothy Wissler will accompany the Cathedral Choir and Schola Nova.

This service, a favorite of Atlanta music lovers for more than 20 years, shines with the joyous spirit of anticipation and fulfillment of the season. All are invited to attend.

For more information on the Candlelight Service of Readings and Carols, call the Cathedral Concert Line at 404-233-2145, extension 820.