Advent Lessons & Carols: Sun. Dec. 15 at 4PM


Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent)
December 15, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

St. Mary's Festival Choir
Children's Carol Choir
Coro Hispano de Santa María
St. Mary's Schola Cantorum

Seven Scripture readings foretelling the coming of Christ
Music from England, Spain, France, Germany, and Colombia
Hymns and Gregorian chants of Advent

Concluding with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Co-sponsored by St. Mary's Church and the St. Cecilia Society.

View/download Lessons & Carols poster

Order of Service

Organ Prelude: Pastorale – Allemande – Aria from Pastorale in F Major (Bach)
Matin Responsory “I look from afar” (Palestrina)
Processional Hymn: Come, thou Redeemer of the earth

Antiphon: O Sapientia
First Lesson: Genesis 3:1-15. Adam and Eve rebel against God and are cast out of the Garden of Eden.
Carol: Adam lay ybounden (Ord)

Antiphon: O Adonai
Second Lesson: Isaiah 40:1-11. God comforts his people and calls on them to prepare for redemption.
Carol: Dadme albricias (Cancionero de Upsala)

Hymn: Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding

Antiphon: O Radix Jesse
Third Lesson: Isaiah 11:1-9. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon the Holy One.
Carol: Zion hears the watchmen’s voices (Bach)

Antiphon: O Clavis David
Fourth Lesson: Isaiah 9:6-7. The coming of the Messiah will fulfill God’s promise to David.
Carol: Villancico al Nacimiento (Cascante)

Antiphon: O Oriens
Fifth Lesson: Baruch 4:36-5:9. The Scribe Baruch urges the people to look East because salvation is at hand.
Carol: People, look East (Besançon melody)

Hymn: Savior of the nations, come

Antiphon: O Rex Gentium
Sixth Lesson: Micah 5:2-4. The one who is to rule Israel will be born in the village of Bethlehem.
Carol: Verbum caro factum est (Cancionero de Upsala)

Antiphon: O Emmanuel
Seventh Lesson: Luke 1:26-38. The Angel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that she will bear the Son of the Most High.
Carol: As I lay upon a night (15th-c. English)

Hymn: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Final Hymn: Lo, he comes with clouds descending
Organ Postlude: Gigue from the Pastorale in F Major (Bach)


(view/download as PDF)

Advent Lessons & Carols at St. Mary’s, Norwalk
(Sunday, December 15 at 4:00 p.m.)
This joyful service, a longtime St. Mary’s tradition, prepares the heart for Christmas with Scripture and music

For Immediate Release
Contact: Thomas B. Heckel, Chairman, St. Cecilia Society
Tel.: (203) 656-2389

NORWALK, CONN.—St. Mary’s Church and the St. Cecilia Society are pleased to present their annual service of Advent Lessons & Carols at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 15, 2019 at St. Mary’s Church, 669 West Avenue in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The beloved worship service of Lessons & Carols was first devised as a Christmas devotion in England in the late nineteenth century, but its alternation of scriptural readings with related music has deep roots in the ancient Divine Office of the Catholic Church. St. Mary’s version of the service focuses on Advent, the quasi-penitential season leading up to Christmas, with seven Scripture readings from the prophecies of the coming of Christ. The service will also include Gregorian chants from the traditional Vespers service (the beautiful “O” Antiphons from the last seven days of Advent), and will conclude with a ceremony of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Four choirs will join forces to sing chants, carols, and hymns from England, Spain, France, Germany, and Colombia. The music will include an excerpt from J. S. Bach’s cantata “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”; villancicos from the 16th-century Cancionero de Upsala; and English carols both old and new. The St. Mary’s Festival Choir, the children’s Carol Choir, the Coro Hispano de Santa María, and the St. Mary’s Schola Cantorum will all participate.

This worship service will take place in St. Mary’s Church at 4:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

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