Lessons and Carols
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 985
    We just had our Lessons and Carols, and I think it was the best we've done. here's our program, and let's see yours!
  • The Saint Michael’s College Chorale (Vermont) is doing their annual Lessons and Carols this Friday, December 8. I’ll be reading the fourth lesson, Isaiah 9:2-7. :)

    For carols, we’re doing Willcocks arrangements of While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, and The First Nowell, plus Silent Night.

    For choral works, we’re doing Rutter’s What Sweeter Music, Stöhr’s Ave Maria that he composed while he was a professor here, and the Sanctus from Fauré’s Requiem.

    Update: here’s our program:
  • Congratulations, Greg =
    Can I, in retrospect, wish that I had been (able to be) there?


    If any are in or near Houston next week-end (Sunday the 10th), there will be

    Advent Lessons and Carols
    at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham
    Sung by the Cathedral Choir, the Treble Choir, and Chorus Angelorum.

    with reception to follow
    in the Great Hall of the Chancery.
  • Our Advent Lessons and Carols is on Sunday the 17th. The whole of St. Michael's Choir School will be singing selections from Messiah, Wood O Thou the Central Orb, and many others.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,594
    Ábranse los cielos (SWISS NOEL) is a lovely tune, does anyone have a favorite 4-part setting?

    I had a strange sensation followed by a chuckle looking at OCOCE, a little cramped in the bulletin: the first syllable v.4's of "draw" - "ing nigh" got mistaken for the equivalent of a horizontal episema over "ex-ile here".
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 985
    I don't know of an SATB arrangement, but here is a choral prelude for organ.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 985
    Thank you MJO, we missed you!
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,594
    A "Noël Suisse" search of IMSLP gets organ settings by Daquin, Balbastre, Corette, Boëly, Lefébure-Wely and others but no choral versions.
  • That would be from the first book of noels by the prolific Michel Corrette, not to be confused with his father, Gaspard, who left but one item to posterity, the Messe du 8me ton of 1703, which has the distinction of being the last alternatim organ mass of the French baroque.

    Thanks for the reminder about this particular noel! I quit playing these noels some time ago. As a genre they can be charming, but as a rule they have little of musical substance. That's not to say that I don't recommend them, I do - with the caution not to 'run them into the ground'. I'm playing Bach's fuga on Vom Himmel hoch for an opening voluntary at Walsingham on Christmas morning - far more satisfying gravitas than most noels.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • From the diocesan Office of Worship in Springfield, Mass.:
    The 18th Annual Festival of Lessons and Carols will be celebrated on Saturday, December 16th, 7:30 p.m., at the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel, 260 State Street in Springfield. The Cathedral Choir of Boys and Adults will be accompanied by strings, handbells and the mighty cathedral organ [1929 Casavant, of 4 manuals and 91 ranks]. Highlights of the service will include the Gloria and Et In Terra Pax from a rarely heard Gloria by Vivaldi, the Benedictus of Sir John Elgar, and the Nunc Dimittis of Herbert Howells. The service consists of nine scripture readings of the season paired with congregational carols and choral anthems. The service begins in darkness and as the story of the nativity progresses the candles and lights of the cathedral are lit. For further information, contact the Office of Worship at worship@diospringfield.org, or by calling (413) 452-0839.

    There’s a Facebook event for it.
    Thanked by 1mattebery
  • Hugh
    Posts: 170
    Our Advent Carol Service is always held in the evening of Advent Sunday at St Phillip's, a parish church in Melbourne, Australia.
    The parish priest, Fr Nicholas Dillon, is a renowned organist, which helps!
    This year's booklet, minus the cover, for copyright reasons.
  • doneill
    Posts: 159
    Here is our Advent Lessons and Carols program, to be held this coming Thursday, December 14 with the students of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Houston. Choir is mandatory for all students Grades 4-8. Each grade sings one piece on their own, and they combine for a couple things as well. The 3rd graders are "understudies" who are there and sing all the hymns with everybody. If you are in the area, come and hear the good things going on at our place under the leadership of The Rev. Stephen B. Reynolds.
  • Carol
    Posts: 326
    This makes me sad, because there is nothing like this at my church. A few of us have talked about starting a Lessons and Carols tradition for our parish. Thank you for sharing your programs with all of us. Perhaps we can try to start with something simple for next year.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 105
    I have wondered why Catholic Churches do Lessons and Carols when we could be doing the Office of the Readings.
  • One might well proffer that Lessons and Carols is an office of readings.
    Why should Catholics deny themselves of such a beautiful 'office', one which has its basis in Mattins?
    Why not both and?

    (Does one need to be reminded that the worship of the Ordinariate is sui generis Catholic?)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,544
    One might well proffer that Lessons and Carols is an office of readings.
    Why should Catholics deny themselves of such a beautiful 'office', one which has its basis in Mattins?
    Why not both and?

    I have no problem with Lessons and Carols if that's what someone wants to do...

    I think the problem is that we all can close our eyes and think of at least one church - but more likely a huge handful of churches - that do Lessons and Carols each year with great fanfare... but do not put anywhere near the same effort into their Sunday Masses and never celebrate publicly the legitimate Liturgy of the Hours with their choirs and congregations.
  • doneill
    Posts: 159
    I agree, Matthew. In our case, this is a school event, and only our second annual L&C. Before last year, the kids had done a silly secular Christmas program, and there was little observation of Advent. This was a way to introduce real Advent themes to students and parents who were not accustomed to them, in a way that would appeal to them. The result has been productive; the kids are loving singing these pieces, including the hymns, and you won't find a familiar Christmas carol among them. So in our case it's not an issue of L&C vs. Mass or "real" LOH. Hopefully, it's a bridge to a better appreciation of beauty in both. We'll get there.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 105
    I have no problem with Members of the Ordinate celebrating Lessons and Carols. But as for the rest of the Latin Rite . . . How often is the Office of the Radings celebrated publicly? I would urge (non-ordinate) Catholics to use our existing liturgy before going elsewhere.
  • Points well made and well taken, Chaswjd -
    donneill's account, though, is a potent commendation.
    As a para-liturgical 'office' L&Cs are far superior to yet another uninspiring 'Christmas cantata' or pageant - though it rankles me even to think of L&Cs in such a contextual milieu... there is really no comparison.

    At Walsingham we have solemn evensong most months of the year, sung by Chorus Angelorum, our resident semi-professional choir whose sole activity and raison d'etre is singing evensong. Chorus Angelorum is not to be confused with our very fine cathedral choir, which offers superb music at solemn high mass every Sunday and Solemnity.

    In line with Chaswjd, I think that it would be praiseworthy for purely Roman rite churches which have the means (and an awful lot of them do have the means!) should do something similar with solemn vespers and their liturgies every Sunday and Solemnity.
    (And, it would certainly make them more 'Vatican Two'!)
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen doneill
  • doneill
    Posts: 159
    I'll argue, too, that the LOH is ideally observed on a regular basis, and that if you are planning a one-off event for students, Lessons and Carols is better - you get more readings, more hymns, and more chances for the choirs to show their stuff. Many of our parents simply are not going to attend Vespers on a regular basis; they barely know what Advent is. But we are building something, and so I hope experiences like this will make our parents more inclined to faithfully observe LOH in the future. Honestly, I'd take just regular commitment to Sunday Mass at this point.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,594
    Before our priest asked to replace it with a Messiah sing-along (our 8th is tonight Dec. 10 6:00 at St. David of Wales, Richmond CA!) we had something called "Vespers with Meditations" on Gaudete afternoon, a sort of LotH Lessons & Oratorio excerpts.
  • Here was Lessons and Carols at Walsingham at 4.00pm this 10th of December -


    Sung by -
    The Cathedral Choir
    The Cathedral Treble Choir
    Chorus Angelorum
    A quartet from the choir of Casa Walsingham in Medellin, Columbia

    Organ Voluntary -
    Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme - - - J.S. Bach
    Es ist ein Ros entsprungen - - - Johannes Brahms
    Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland - - - J.S. Bach

    Matins Responsory - - - adapt. fr. G.P. da Palestrina

    At the Procession - 'O come, O come, Emmanuel' - - - Veni, veni, Immanuel, arr., Theodore Marier

    The Bidding Prayer -
    The Our Father -

    Anthem - 'While the Careless World is Sleeping' - - - Francis Alan Jackson

    The First Lesson -
    Carol - 'Remember, O Thou Man' - - - Thomas Ravenstcroft
    Carol - 'Adam Lay Ybounden' - - - Boris Ord

    The Second Lesson -
    Carol - 'the Advent Message' - - - Martin How

    The Third Lesson -
    Carol - Rorate Caeli - - - Francisco Guerrero
    Hymn - 'Creator of the Stars of Night' - - - Conditor Alme

    The Fourth Lesson -
    Carol - Es ist ein Ros entsprungen - - - Michael Praetorius
    Carol - Laetentur Caeli - - - William Byrd

    The Fifth Lesson -
    Carol - Ave Maria - - - Andrea Gabrieli
    Carol - 'Maria Walks Amid the Thorn' - - - Med. German, Arr., David Cherwein

    The Sixth Lesson -
    Carol - 'And the Glory of the Lord', from Messiah - - - George F. Handel
    Hymn - 'Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding' - - - Merton

    The Seventh Lesson -
    Carol - 'Sion, at Thy Shining Gates' - - - Arr., George Guest

    At the Offering - Hymn: 'Hark! The Glad Sound' - - - Richmond

    The Vesper Responsory - - - Adapt. from G.P. da Palestrina

    The Blessing -

    At the Dismissal - Hymn: 'Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending' - - - Helmsley
    Organ Voluntary - Chaconne on Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland - - - Hugo Distler
    Thanked by 2JonathanLC CHGiffen


    Sung at Walsingham this evening of the 12th December
    Sung by the Piping Rock Singers, whose specialty is early music, and who are a professional choir and are sort of semi-resident at Walsingham. Directed by Kevin Clarke. Dr Clarke is choirmaster and organist (with a 50+rank Aeolian-Skinner) at St Theresa's in Sugar Land (a Houston suburb) and was some years ago, before crossing the Tiber, organist at the 'National Cathedral' in Washington, and Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, etc.

    Program -

    1. Beata Viscera - - - Perotin
    2. 'The Lamb' - - - Sir John Tavener

    3. Alleluia. Ave Maria, Virga Jesse Floruit - - - William Byrd
    4. Virga Jesse - - - Stephen Shewan

    5. Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen - - - Michael Praetorius

    6. Ave Maria - - - Plainchant, Mode I, with Ison
    7. Ave Maria - - - Robert Parsons
    8. Ave Maria - - - Kevin Clarke

    9. Surge Illuminare, Jerusalem - - - William Byrd
    10. Illuminare Jerusalem - - - Judith Weir

    11. O Magnum Mysterium - - - Plainchant, Mode III, with Ison
    12. O Magnum Mysterium - - - William Byrd

    13. Quem Pastores Laudavere - - - Michael Praetorius

    14, Magnificat - - - Solemn Tone VIII, antiphonally
    15. Magnificat Collegium Regale - - - Sir John Tavener

    16. Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern - - - Michael Praetorius

    Encore - O Magnum Mysterium - - - Tomas Luis de Victoria
  • Advent Lessons and Carols, St. Rita, Dallas
    December 17, 7:30pm

    Prelude on "In dulci Jubilo" (Liszt)
    Snow lay on the Ground (Stearns)
    Von himmel hoch (Bach)

    Advent Responsory ("I look from afar") (Calabrese)
    Procession: Hymn - "Creator of the Stars of Night"

    The Bidding Prayer
    E'en So Lord Jesus (Manz)
    Hymn: Come, O Long Expected Jesus

    First Lesson
    Carol: Adam lay ybounden (Ord)

    Second Lesson
    Carol: In dulci jubilo (Pearsall)

    Third Lesson
    Hymn: O Come, O Come Emmanuel

    Fourth Lesson
    Carol: Little Lamb, Who Made Thee? (Tavener)
    Carol: Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day (Near)

    Fifth Lesson
    Carol: Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (Poston)
    Carol: Carol of the Advent "People Look East" (Dietterich)

    Sixth Lesson
    Carol: Angelus ad Virginem (Willcocks)

    Seventh Lesson
    Carol: Magnificat in C (Stanford)

    The Collect for Advent
    The Blessing

    Hymn: Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending

    Noel sur les Grand Jeux (Daquin)
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • We Just had our Lessons and Carols at Saint Maurice in Stamford, CT

    Prelude: Wachet auf ruft uns die stimme (J. S. Bach) (with trumpet)
    Choral Prelude: Matins Responsory (after Palestrina)

    Opening Hymn: O Come Devine Messiah
    Bidding Prayer

    First Lesson
    Of the Father's Love Begotten

    Second Lesson
    Jesu Rex Admirabilis (Palestrina)

    Third Lesson
    Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming

    Fourth Lesson
    On Jordon's Bank
    The Coming of Our God

    Fifth Lesson
    Alma Redemptoris Mater (chant)
    Ave Maria (Arcadelt)

    Sixth Lesson
    Away in a Manger

    Seventh Lesson
    The First Nowell
    Bring a Torch (David Shove)

    Eighth Lesson
    Infant Holy, Infant Lowly (Willcocks)

    Ninth Lesson
    O Come All Ye Faithful (Willocks)

    Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Willcocks)

    Postlude: Improvisation
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • https://livestream.com/stmichaelscathedral/events/7238650/videos/167363789
    The video from our Lessons and Carols Service today. The service marks the end of the 175th Anniversary Celebrations of the Archdiocese. I'll scan and upload the programme at some point.