Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lessons and Carols, 4

Working this series of posts has reminded me of two aspects of planning services and programs. One - there is often so much material, that sorting through the options is like being a child in a candy shop . . . on a limited budget. Two - while in most of life I don't dwell much on options, or "what might have been" once a decision is made, in a program like this I am always second-guessing selections. Oh well, that is one of the beauties of Lessons and Carols: it's a Christmas program, and it's hard to "miss," with so much beautiful music available. Also, ideally one prepares Lessons and Carols annually, and the readings don't change (or, not much) so one gets second chances. As already noted, this series is scratching that worship planning itch. It's just been a surprise to also be experiencing the self-evaluation that comes with that!

Fourth Lesson: Isaiah 11:1-10
This is one of those places with an optional/alternate Lesson. I wish we could have Ten Lessons and Carols. But then, I wonder if the Church erred when it reduced Advent from six weeks to four!

Fourth Carol: Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming

Fourth Hymn: O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright
text: Philipp Nicolai (1599) trans Catherine Winkworth
tune: Wie schoen leuchtet, also written by Nicolai (adapted from an older psalm tune)
Lutherans are the only readers likely to have sung this as a congregational hymn. That's a shame, and I consider it one of the shortcomings of my ministry that even at College Church we never had the congregation try it. They could manage it. Anyway, here is a very nice men's chorus arrangement, stanza one only. Full text is linked above.

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