Saturday, December 27, 2008

Advent Lessons and Carols

As Advent kicked off in early December, St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Purcellville, Virginia, held a special service of Advent Lessons and Carols. This service is a very solemn way to get into the spirit of Advent with reflections in music and scripture.

Perhaps the best performance ever from the young choristers comes in the very beginning with the Advent Canticle. The children here show their countless hours of practice when singing Veni, Veni, Emmanuel in Latin while harmonizing with the adult choir. The piece is beautiful, and makes my eyes glisten each time I hear it. At the beginning, you can hear Becky's strong alto starting the piece off, and the kids come in after the sopranos with a quiet and graceful performance. This is real magic.

I've placed recordings of the service on my blog for those who are interested. These MP3 files are released into the public domain, so feel free to copy them for your own enjoyment or spiritual reflection.

The St. Peter's Episcopal Church Choir
Purcellville, Virginia

Musical Direction and Organ by Barbara Bulger Verdile

Advent Lessons and Carols
  1. Organ Prelude
  2. Avent Canticle (O Come)
  3. Hymn 56 - O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
  4. Advent Collect and Prayers
  5. Lesson 1 - Isaiah 11:1-9
  6. Anthem - Creator of the Stars of Night
  7. Hymn 68 - Rejoice, Rejoice Believers
  8. Lesson 2 - Isaiah 40:1-11
  9. Anthem - Comfort, Comfort, Ye My People
  10. Hymn 67 - Comfort, Comfort, Ye My People
  11. Lesson 3 - Isaiah 7:10-15
  12. Anthem - Contemplation, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
  13. Hymn 66 - Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
  14. Lesson 4 - Luke 1:26-38
  15. Anthem - Advent Lullaby
  16. Hymn 75 - The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came
  17. Lesson 5 - Matthew 1:18-23
  18. Anthem - Jesus, Gift of God
  19. Hymn 76 - On Jordan's Bank
  20. Lesson 6 - Mark 1:1-15
  21. Anthem - Thou All Transcendent Deity
  22. Hymn 59 - Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding
  23. Collects for Advent
  24. Hymn 57 - Lo! He Comes, With Clouds Descending
  25. Organ Finale
Or, if you prefer, here is a ZIP file of the entire CD.

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Please do not reproduce or copy without the permission of the author.