There is still time to sing in the choir on Christmas Eve. Youth and adults grade 5 and up are invited to participate in a special choir that sings at the 5:00 p.m. service on December 24. We will rehearse on Thursday, December 21 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Choir Room, and the 24th we will gather at 4:00 p.m. before the 5:00 service. Please contact Megan Sharp, Director of Fine Arts if you have questions. This is a great opportunity for alumni of our Singers choir to connect for the holidays.
Sunday, December 31—First Sunday of Christmas, worship service, 11:00 a.m.
Sunday, January 7—Epiphany of the Lord, worship service, 11:00 a.m.
This week the adult choir sings two anthems for Advent, both recent settings of much older texts. The first, “Drop down, ye heavens, from above” by the British composer Judith Weir (b. 1954), sets a portion of an ancient text known as the Advent Prose, or in Latin, Rorate caeli desuper. This text, a compilation of verses from the book of Isaiah, is traditionally ascribed to the fourth-century Aurelius Clemens Prudentius. Weir currently serves as Master of the Queen’s Music. The second anthem is a setting of “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree,” a poem which first appeared in a London magazine in 1761. The first hymnal to include the poem, however, was published in America, in New Hampshire in 1784. The apple tree as a metaphor for Christ is unusual, but in line with references in Song of Songs and in Revelations to trees as metaphors. Christ as apple tree also conforms to Paul’s designation of Christ as the “second Adam” — since the first Adam fell by way of an apple tree, the second – the tree of life – must redeem humanity. The choir sings a version by American composer Daniel Pinkham (1923-2006).
The Tuesday Evening Study Group will meet on Tuesday, December 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lower Lounge, for our annual Advent potluck-music evening. Our special guests will be women of the choir. Please bring your own place setting and a dish to share with several others. There will be hot or cold drinks for all and several desserts, so please join us for an evening of dinner, singing, and sharing your favorite children’s Christmas stories. If you need more information or a ride, please call Barbara Deaver at 973-3819.
Come and enjoy a traditional service of Lessons and Carols led by the Choristers and Singers choirs. Readings and carols retell the story of Christ’s birth, with candlelit singing of Silent Night. Following the service gather for a potluck meal and carol singing in the Fellowship Hall. This annual event is a wonderful time to gather with family, and invite new friends to celebrate the season at Westminster. Please bring a dish to share for the potluck meal.