2014 Lessons & Carols

I was trying to describe to someone how Church of the Servant’s Lessons & Carols service differs from traditional British cathedral services or from the churches and choirs who offer Lessons & Carols services locally.

Advent Liturgy picture 2014-1

by Virginia Wierenga, 2014

“Scruffy” is the word that came to mind. Instead of the polished, ethereal sound that characterizes many of these services, COS has a more down-to-earth, folk feel. Traditionally, the scripture readers are arranged youngest to oldest, but we turn this hierarchy around, beginning with the oldest. Not only does this give more weight to the contributions of the younger readers, but it means the oldest reader tells the story of the Garden of Eden, a young woman reads the annunciation, and a child announces Jesus’ birth. Finally, our L&C differs from many others in that is intentionally broad stylistically. This year included songs from Pakistan, Alabama, and Grand Rapids, in styles ranging from folk to jazz to traditional carols. Certainly the prophecies and birth of Jesus were meant for all people, and should be spoken and sung in all tongues and tones!

The service order is below. Recordings for a few of the songs are included; click on the song title to hear an MP3. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me. —Greg Scheer

PROCESSIONAL CAROL: Creator of the Stars of Night (arr. Scheer; Erin De Young, soprano)

GATHERING CAROL: O Come All Ye Faithful (LUYH 76)

FIRST LESSON: Genesis 3:8-15 God announces in the Garden of Eden that the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head.

From the Apple in the Garden (Roy Hopp, Hope)

SECOND LESSON: Genesis 22:15-18 God promises to faithful Abraham that in his seed shall the nations of the earth be blessed.

The God of Abraham Praise (LUYH 39, arr. Scheer)

THIRD LESSON: Isaiah 9:2,6-7 Christ’s birth and kingdom are foretold by Isaiah.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Patrick Liebergen, Kjos)

FOURTH LESSON: Isaiah 11:1-9 The peace that Christ will bring is foreshown.

O Lord, May Your Kingdom Come (Eric Sarwar, Pakistan)

FIFTH LESSON: Luke 1:26-38 The angel Gabriel salutes the virgin Mary.

Mary’s Song/Our King of Peace (Wendell Kimbrough, arr. Scheer; guest vocalist Bruce Benedict)

SIXTH LESSON: LUKE 2:1-7 The birth of Jesus.

Away in a Manger (LUYH 86)

We Do Not Know (John Bell/arr. Tony Alonso, GIA)

SEVENTH LESSON: LUKE 2:8-16 The shepherds go to the manger.

Cradle Hymn (Craig Curry, Beckenhorst)

How Great Our Joy (LUYH 90)

RECESSIONAL CAROL: Good Christian Friends, Rejoice (LUYH 98)