CHRISTMAS EVE LESSONS & CAROLS SERVICES
CANDLELIGHT FESTIVAL OF LESSONS & CAROLS -
FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH
90 Main Street, Worcester, Mass. 01608 508 757 2708
Music - Lessons and Carols, Readings, The Christmas Story, Advent
5:02pm Festival Concert Prelude
5:30pm Lessons & Carols Service
12/24/2017 - 5:30
- Featuring Flute, Cello, Vocal solos
(full choir, organ,
(Come early to get a seat; doors open at 5:00pm; Prelude Concert begins at 5:02pm)
Featured work: Adeste Fidelis - soloist, a cappella choir, an exciting arrangement featuring full choir with descants and organ + timpani
Tonight, everyone is displaced and homeless.
Tonight, everyone searches for Bethlehem.
On this night, when the darkness comes so close,
We listen, in the stillness, for the songs of angels.
Like shepards, we aren't too sure of what is happening.
We don't know why we are so expectant.
We don't know why we long so deeply for miracles.
Tonight we pray that we might know the one we are seeking.
Tonight may we kneel like kings,
before that which is greater than any kingdom on earth.
Tonight, may we see the holy family that we are a part of.
And may we hear the music that reminds us of our truest home.
- Rev. Tom Schade
The seasonal splendor
of the Glory of Christmas
begins with the traditional holiday processional: Adeste
Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful)—first a single soprano
begins processing quietly from the entrance, followed by the glorious pageantry
of the festive choral processional joined by the congregation, pipe organ,
and timpani. Through a creative blend of congregational Christmas
carols, solos, instruments,
with the spoken word, the nativity story unfolds with colorful wonder.
Both scriptures and contemporary readings recount the Christmas Story.
Our renowned pipe organ is featured to fill our wonderfully restored
sanctuary with the glorious sounds of Angels, Wisemen, and Shepherds.
end the service with John Rutter's traditional Candlelight Carol and Silent
the single candle of the Spirit of Christmas is passed from one to
another to fill our hearts with a renewed light of hope and peace.
Sherwood, AAGO,ChM, Director of Music & Organist
James Haupt, Assistant Director of Music
Alesia Tringale, soprano
Maria Ferrante, soprano
Ray Bauwens, tenor
Madeline Browning & Jerry Bellows, recorders
Patrick Chatham, Cello - Young Artist In Residence
Bob Gordon, timpani & percussion
2017 CHRISTMAS EVE LESSONS & CAROLS SERVICE in Worcester
Prelude (5:02 p.m.) Festival Music of the Season
(cello, recorders, soloists, piano, harpsichord)
No Room, No Room - Ruth Morris Gray
Choral Processional "Adeste Fideles"
Choir and Soloists process, then during the organ & timpani fanfare,
Congregation stands and sings “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”
*Congregational Carol "O Come, All Ye Faithful" Adeste Fideles
*Congregational Carol "Joy to the Worldr" Antioch
*Congregational Carol "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" Carol C.M.D.
Anthem at the Offertory
"Glory, Glory, Glory to the Newborn King - Moses Hogan (American; 1957-2003
What Sweeter Music - John Rutter (British; 1945-)
My Lord Has Come - Todd
In the Bleak Midwinter - Allain
I Wonder As I Wander - Carl Rutti
Manger Carol - Sowerby/Smith
*Congregational Carol "What Child Is This"
[The Lighting of the Candles in the congregation]
Anthem "Candlelight Carol" John Rutter (1980)
*Candlelighting "Silent Night, Holy Night"
Choral Response "Ukranian Bell Carol" arr. Wilhousky
Organ Postlude Overture from "Nutcracker Suite" Tschaikowsky
(*) Congregation sings
Christmas Eve 2007
Carols are among the oldest music still performed; they were popular communal songs which began as circle dances in 12th-century Europe. In the 15th and 16th centuries they evolved into “Church music” and began being performed at services and festivals (while we mainly know them as Christmas music, there are Advent and Easter carols). During the Reformation carols fell out of favor — they were considered ”too Catholic” (despite Martin Luther’s love of them) — and were not revived until the 19th-century. The Salvation Army began performing carols with their brass bands in 1878 and in 1880 they began to be reintroduced to church services. Also beginning at this time in England and Eastern Europe was the practice of caroling, groups of people going from house to house and singing with great fervor, bringing carols back to their original place as public celebrations.
– Jay Lavelle
excerpts from the Festival Choir(MP3):
(See also: Annual
Events, Services throughout the
Worship Year, Religious Education,
and Adult Religious Education)
CHRISTMAS EVE THROUGHOUT THE YEARS
Children's Christmas Pageant
held earlier in December
Sanctuary decorated for Christmas Eve circa 1900
(prior to 1938 and 2000 sanctuary restorations)
Night has fallen.
Stars beckon in an indigo and velvet sky
Somewhere a baby is being born.
Tonight, the world lazes in a love of goodness
while glories stream from heaven afar
God is meeting us, tonight, where we are.
So be not afraid, and be of good cheer,
We wish you, each and all, Very Merry Christmas -
hopes and fears of all the years have been met,
so Rest beside the winding road
and Hear the Angels Sing.
Christmas Eve 2000 - Rev. Tom Schade