2020: LIVESTREAMED (LIVE) ONLY - NO IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE THIS YEAR
2020 Youtube link: https://youtu.be/k3gPo0qTZ64
CANDLELIGHT FESTIVAL OF LESSONS & CAROLS -
FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH
90 Main Street, Worcester, Mass. 01608 508 757 2708
Music - Lessons and Carols, Readings, The Christmas Story, Advent
12/24/2020 - 5:30
- Featuring Festival Choir, soloists, organ,
(Come early to get a seat; doors open at 5:00pm)
Prelude Concert begins at 5:10pm
Tonight, everyone is displaced and homeless.
Tonight, everyone searches for Bethlehem.
On this night, when the darkness comes so close,
We listen, in the stillness, for the songs of angels.
Like shepards, we aren't too sure of what is happening.
We don't know why we are so expectant.
We don't know why we long so deeply for miracles.
Tonight we pray that we might know the one we are seeking.
Tonight may we kneel like kings,
before that which is greater than any kingdom on earth.
Tonight, may we see the holy family that we are a part of.
And may we hear the music that reminds us of our truest home.
- Rev. Tom Schade
The seasonal splendor
of the Glory of Christmas
is celebrated in the historic sanctuary of First Unitarian Church. Through a creative blend of Christmas
carols, solos, instruments,
with the spoken word, the nativity story unfolds with colorful wonder.
Both scriptures and contemporary readings recount the Christmas Story.
Our renowned pipe organ is featured to fill our wonderfully restored
sanctuary with the glorious sounds of Angels, Wisemen, and Shepherds.
end the service with John Rutter's traditional Candlelight Carol and Silent
the candle of the Spirit of Christmas fills our hearts with a renewed light of hope and peace.
Sherwood, AAGO,ChM, Director of Music & Organist
James Haupt, Assistant Director of Music
Maria Ferrante, soprano
Charlotte Russell, soprano
Mason Tran, oboe
Patrick Chatham, cello
2020 CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELILGHT LESSONS & CAROLS SERVICE in Worcester
Youtube link: https://youtu.be/k3gPo0qTZ64
Prelude (5:05 p.m.) Festival Music of the Season
Song of the Birds (Traditional Catalonian, arr. Sherwood) - soprano, cello, piano
Rejoice O Greatly (Handel) - soprano, organ
A Chld Is Born (Thad Jones, arr. Sherwood) - soprano, cello, piano
Concerto in d minor (Op. 9) - Adagio (Albinoni) - oboe, organ
In the Bleak Midwinter (Thiman, arr. Sherwood) - soprano, cello, piano
As Dew In April (Richard Cumming, arr. Sherwood) - soprano, oboe, cello, piano
"Adeste Fideles" - “O Come, All Ye Faithful”
Sweet Little Jesus Boy (MacGimsey, arr. Sherwood) - soprano, oboe, cello, piano
I Wonder as I Wander (John Jacob Niles, arr. Sherwood) - soprano, oboe, piano
What Songs Were Sung (John Jacob Niles, arr. Sherwood) - soprano, oboe, cello, piano
What Child Is This (arr. Sherwood) Soprano, oboe, cello, piano
Candlelight Carol (John Rutter)
Carol of the Bells (Mykola Leontovich)
Overture from Nutcracker Suite (Tschaikowsky) - organ
2019 CHRISTMAS EVE
2018 CHRISTMAS EVE
Rachmaninoff: Vocalise (cello)
Still, Still, Still (soprano, tenor, piano 4-hands)
Callahan: The Nativity (soprano, cello, piano)
Thiman: In the Bleak MidWinter (soprano, cello, piano)
What Child Is This? (cello solo)
Courtney: Let There Be Light (choir, a cappella)
“Adeste Fideles” & “O Come, All Ye Faithful”
A Spotless Rose– Herbert Howells
I Wonder as I Wander- Carl Rutti
Joy to the World (organ fanfare and congregation)
In This Place- Will Todd
No Small Wonder- Paul Edwards
What Child is This?- Mark Riese
Noel We Sing- Louis Claude Daquin
Candlelight Carol- John Rutter
Silent Night candlelighting
Carol of the Bells- Mykola Leontovich
Christmas Eve 2007
Carols are among the oldest music still performed; they were popular communal songs which began as circle dances in 12th-century Europe. In the 15th and 16th centuries they evolved into “Church music” and began being performed at services and festivals (while we mainly know them as Christmas music, there are Advent and Easter carols). During the Reformation carols fell out of favor — they were considered ”too Catholic” (despite Martin Luther’s love of them) — and were not revived until the 19th-century. The Salvation Army began performing carols with their brass bands in 1878 and in 1880 they began to be reintroduced to church services. Also beginning at this time in England and Eastern Europe was the practice of caroling, groups of people going from house to house and singing with great fervor, bringing carols back to their original place as public celebrations.
– Jay Lavelle
excerpts sung by the Festival Choir(MP3):
(See also: Annual
Events, Services throughout the
Worship Year, Religious Education,
and Adult Religious Education)
CHRISTMAS EVE THROUGHOUT THE YEARS
Children's Christmas Pageant
held earlier in December
Sanctuary decorated for Christmas Eve circa 1900
(prior to 1938 and 2000 sanctuary restorations)
Night has fallen.
Stars beckon in an indigo and velvet sky
Somewhere a baby is being born.
Tonight, the world lazes in a love of goodness
while glories stream from heaven afar
God is meeting us, tonight, where we are.
So be not afraid, and be of good cheer,
We wish you, each and all, Very Merry Christmas -
hopes and fears of all the years have been met,
so Rest beside the winding road
and Hear the Angels Sing.
Christmas Eve 2000 - Rev. Tom Schade