Dear People of St. Christopher’s This week we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent. As we journey together toward the manger light, we encounter an interesting conversation between Mary and her cousin Elisabeth. As both contemplate motherhood, Mary shares with Elisabeth a hymn which calls on all believers to change the world in God's name. Mary's call to action brings to mind the hymn called "Canticle of the Turning" by Gary Daigle, Rory Cooney and Theresa Donohoo.
The hymn boldly proclaims: "My soul cries out with a joyful shout That the God of my heart is great And my spirit sings of the Wondrous things That you bring to the ones who wait You fixed your sight on your servant's plight And my weakness you did not spurn So from east to west shall my name be blest Could the world be about to turn? My heart shall sing of the day you bring Let the fires of your justice burn Wipe away all tears for the dawn draws near And the world is about to turn!"
For the people of St. Christopher's, Advent 4 Sunday presents us with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate hymn, story, mission, and ministry. Our Festival of Lessons and Carols is Sunday, December 19th at 5:00PM. Richard, our director of music and choirmaster, shares the following:
"The Festival of Lessons and Carols was adapted from ancient liturgies for use in the collegiate chapels of England. Themes move from darkness to light as they develop the theme of God’s loving purpose for humankind. The service is built around nine Bible readings, that advance through the prophets, to the Gospel telling of Jesus’ birth. The scripture readings are interspersed with hymns, carols, and choral anthems that explore God’s Advent and Incarnation in Jesus Christ.
"The Festival of Lessons and Carols is a special holiday event which invites and embraces the local community as well as our own parishioners. The sanctuary is made festive with the ropes of evergreen adorning the walls, and tall candelabra flanking the main aisle for the candle light procession which begins the service. Our twenty-voice Liturgical Choir leads the hymns and carols and also sings choral anthems of the Advent season.
"As part of our community outreach every year, the offertory monies gathered at this service a local charitable organization. This year our Lessons and Carols donation will go to the charity Beyond Hunger, a local food pantry."
I am grateful that Richard and our choir offer the community this opportunity to gather and to celebrate the mysteries contained in scripture and proclaimed through song. Consider LINKING HERE to the Festival Facebook page to share the event with friends and family.