Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's a busy time of year for everyone.

I missed the ECP's Lessons and Carols last Sunday night because of the Natalie Merchant concert, which was a lesson in itself. And certainly a very good time.

Like Vacation Bible School, "Lessons and Carols" is a suitcase event, a predetermined program that just about anyone can implement. So my own parish put one on last night. In the absence of any alternative, the program is very welcome, indeed. But for the past two years the diocese has held increasingly successful Christmas Carol Festivals. There's no reason to reinvent the wheel, rather use a package deal whenever possible. But I can't understand favoring something Anglican and mainline Protestant over a very similar thing that's diocesan and even homegrown.

The St. Joseph singers had decent voices that were too few in number to fill the church. Granted, their collective sound was better than any of them solo, but another twenty would have sounded better. Three hymns appeared in full in the pamphlet under the heading "ALL," strongly suggesting these were to be sung communally. A woman seated behind me did just that and had an excellent voice. A gentleman seated ahead of me kept glancing back at her with a puzzled look, then whispered something to his companion.

I brought my Bible to the Lessons and Carols in order to follow along with the Scripture readings. Fortunately, I brought the "correct" version as I was able to follow word-for-sacred-word in the ESV I had. Some programs suggests drawing passages from various English translations but the many that stick with just one usually choose the ESV. The final reading was John's Prologue and all the lectors joined in together, so I also read along aloud. It was nice and nearly got to me.


kkollwitz said...

I've always been fond of her "Beloved Wife."

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of that carol festival...but I really like the idea. I wonder if I'm bold enough to try spearheading something like that here next year?

Although, honestly, we've used the lessons & carols format several times in our Christmas prelude because I like the intermixing of Scripture--many Scripture passages. I know there's a set format but I don't like it; we always do a more "salvation history" kind of approach that leads smoothly to Christmas itself.

In any case, I have open the link on a tab. Will have to think about that!

Moonshadow said...

She sang that and it was really beautiful.

I thought the set format of Lessons and Carols was very "salvation history-ish," from the Fall to the Promise to Fulfillment.

The Christmas Carol Festival includes Scripture, personal testimony and a dramatization of the events at Bethlehem by children. It is explicitly evangelistic and Catholic.