Those who have attended this candlelight service in past years know what a perfect opportunity it is to step back from the hectic pace of the post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas season, and take a few moments to contemplate Advent’s real meaning.
Our two services of Lessons and Carols (for Advent on November 29, and for Christmas on December 20) are adapted from the famous carol service at King’s College, Cambridge, which has become popular worldwide since World War II through annual radio broadcasts on Christmas Eve. For our Advent service we include the ancient O Antiphons, one after each of the seven lessons. Whether you best sense the eternal through timeless chant, or wonderful choral music, or popular carols sung by all, there is something for everyone in this service. This year, choral music, sung from various points in the Nave of the Cathedral, will include:
Richard Marlow, Matin Responsory
Colin Mawby, Adam lay ybounden
Robert Lehman, Rorate caeli
Howard Helvey, There is no rose of such virtue
Claude Goudimel, Comfort, comfort ye my people
Patrick Hadley, I sing of a maiden
arr. Craig Phillips, Gabriel’s Message
Herbert Howells, “Magnificat,” from Gloucester Service
James MacMillan, O Radiant Dawn
Why not practice a “random act of kindness” and make the service a gift to someone this year by inviting them to attend? It may turn out to be one of the best gifts you give.