Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Cathedral Choir welcomes season with ‘Readings and Carols’

Published December 7, 2017

ATLANTA—The Cathedral Choir of Christ the King in Atlanta will celebrate the return of “A Candlelight Service of Readings and Carols” on Sunday, Dec. 17, 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 church will be enhanced by illuminations of the church’s stained glass windows, candlelight and renditions of many beloved carols.

The ancient service of readings and song 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 traditional carols recall the words the prophets spoke about Jesus and tell the story of Jesus’ birth as all prepare for the coming feast of Christmas.

The music for the service offers illumination to the texts both old and new and spans over 11 centuries of holiday songs 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 special choral music by Thomas Ravenscroft, Gabriel Jackson, Judith Weir, Stephen Paulus, Robert Convery and others. The service offers a sneak preview of all the favorite carols of the season, from “Silent Night” to “O’ Come All Ye Faithful.”

Cathedral organist Timothy Wissler and a small instrumental ensemble will accompany the Cathedral Choir and Schola Nova.

This service, for more than two decades a favorite of Atlanta music lovers, shines with the spirit of anticipation and fulfillment of the season, and all are invited to attend.

For more information on the service of readings and carols, call the Cathedral at 404-233-2145.