(SCROLL DOWN)
Candlelight Service - Silent Night is being Sung

CANDLELIGHT
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES

LESSONS & CAROLS - CANDLELIGHT
FIRST UNITARIAN
90 Main Street, Worcester, Mass. 01608
  508 757 2708

2011 Christmas Eve  candlelight service

Holiday Music - Lessons and Carols, Readings, The Christmas Story, Advent

5:00pm Festival Concert Prelude
5:30pm Lessons & Carols Service

12/24/2013 - 5:30 - Featuring Flute/Cello, Vocal solos (full choir, organ, & timpani)
(Come early to get a seat; doors open at 4:45; Prelude Concert begins at 5:10pm)
Featured work: Once In David's Royal City - soloist, a cappella choir, an exciting arrangement featuring full choir with descants and organ + timpani

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
begins with the traditional holiday processional: Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful)—first a single soprano begins processing quietly from the entrance, followed by the glorious pageantry of the festive choral processional joined by the congregation, pipe organ, and timpani. Through a creative blend of congregational 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.

We end the service with John Rutter's traditional Candlelight Carol and Silent Night as the single candle of the Spirit of Christmas is passed from one to another to fill our hearts with a renewed light of hope and peace.

Will Sherwood, AAGO,ChM, Director of Music & Organist
James Haupt, Music Intern
Jean Gough, soprano
Alesia Tringale, soprano
Carrie Reid-Knox, alto
Ray Bauwens, tenor

Madeline Browning, flute
Bob Gordon, timpani & percussion

MUSIC FOR
2013 CHRISTMAS EVE LESSONS & CAROLS SERVICE

Prelude (5:00 p.m.)               Festival Music of the Season (flute, cello, soloists, piano, harpsichord)
     Evergreen - Pinkham;  Gesu Bambino - Yon; Comfort Ye/Every Valley - Handel;
     Wildwood Carol - Rutter; Carol of the Birds - Catalonian

Musical Introit                        "O Holy Night"        
Choral Processional                "Adeste Fideles"
Choir and Soloists process, then during the organ & timpani fanfare,
           Congregation stands and sings “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

*Congregational Carol           "O Come, All Ye Faithful"                              Adeste Fideles
Anthem                                    “Once in Royal David's City”                    Traditional
*Congregational Carol            "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear"                Carol C.M.D.
Anthem at the Offertory              "The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy"            Andre J. Thomas

Carol-Anthems                                  
   No Small Wonder                   -  Paul Edwards
   Jesus Child                           - John Rutter     
   Lo How a Rose                      - Will Sherwood
   A Spotless Rose                    - Herbert Howells
   Cover Him, Joseph                 - Gilbert Martin           
*Congregational Carol             "O Little Town of Bethlehem"                       St. Louis
Anthem                                    "Candlelight Carol"                                  John Rutter (1980)
*Candlelighting                       "Silent Night, Holy Night"
Choral Response                     "Ukranian Bell Carol"                                  arr. Wilhousky
Organ Postlude                        Overture from "Nutcracker Suite"                  Tschaikowsky

(*) Congregation sings

Christmas Eve Service 2007
Christmas Eve 2007

Program Notes

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

Audio excerpts from the Festival Choir(MP3):

 

candlelight service at first unitarian



Christmas Eve Service

Directions/Map

(See also: Annual Events, Services throughout the Worship Year, Religious Education, and Adult Religious Education)


Harp accompaniment for Christmas Eve Services

Children singing at Christmas Pageant
Children's Christmas Pageant held earlier in December

Clock Steeple on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Service Chandelier

Sanctuary decorated for Christmas Eve circa 1900
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 -
The hopes and fears of all the years have been met,
so Rest beside the winding road
and Hear the Angels Sing.
Benediction - Christmas Eve 2000 - Rev. Tom Schade