In December, as we have done for many years, we heard the salvation story told through the scripture and song in our Lessons and Carols service. While the format of reading scripture passages and singing carols is simple and repeated year after year, each time it feels fresh and special. This year, with over 50 musicians from COS involved, was no exception. In his sermons, Jack Roeda often talked about “thin places,” places where the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted and we catch hints of the God’s glory here on earth. This service was one such “thin place.” Here is a taste of the beauty experienced by those in attendance:

We often use “O Come, All Ye Faithful” as our gathering hymn, but this year it just soared, particularly the descant on verse 4.

O Come All Ye Faithful

For the season of Advent we introduced a new song to the congregation, “Come Then, Lord Jesus, Come.” It is actually a union of an old text of lament set to a mournful new tune. Lauren & Philip capture the sense of longing for Christ’s return as they sing the verses. Kristen and Rachel accentuated the lament on the flute and piano.

Come Then, Lord Jesus, Come (text: Horatius Bonar; music: Kenny Hutson and Katy Bowser; arr. Steven Rodriquez)

“And the Glory of the Lord” from Handel’s Messiah is a masterpiece by itself. Our resident musicologist and conductor commented that normally Handel should be left alone, but in the case where you have a talented French Horn player (David), it’s ok to tweak Mozart’s arrangement to add a little sparkle. Not that the choir needed any help…they had plenty of sparkle themselves!

And the Glory of the Lord from Handel’s Messiah

“Saw You Never in the Twilight” is a lesser know French carol that helps capture the mystery of the familiar story of the visit of the Magi.

Saw You Never in the Twilight

After experiencing the beauty and mystery of our salvation, how could you not want to “Go, Tell It on the Mountain”?

Go, Tell It on the Mountain