Special Report to Blowing Rock News. November 21, 2016. BLOWING ROCK, NC — The choir of St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, along with the church’s St. Cecelia children’s choir, will present a traditional Advent Lessons and Carols service on Sunday afternoon, December 4th at 2:00 pm. The service will be held in the church, and everyone is truly welcome.
Familiar to Christians everywhere through BBC broadcasts from King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, the service tells the story of the fall of Adam, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus through short Bible readings interspersed with carols and hymns. Sung in Anglican churches all over the world since the 1880’s, the service is a lovely part of the preparation for Christmas and the celebration of the miracle of God’s love as expressed by the birth of the Christ child.
Although the terms “carol” and “hymn” are often used interchangeably, hymns are intended to teach us some point of theology, while carols – just like the stained glass windows in medieval cathedrals – tell a Bible story in a way both joyous and reverential. Music for this Lessons and Carols includes – Adam lay ybounden by Peter Warlock, a traditional African-American spiritual I Wanna Be Ready, Healey Willan’s gentle paean to Mary – I beheld her, the lush setting of Ave Maria by Rachmaninoff, a lively Spanish carol – Riu, riu, chiu, and the lovely lullaby Bethlehem down by Warlock.
Escape from the commercialization of Christmas and come immerse yourself in the story and music of Advent – the season of preparation for the birth of Christ. St. Mary of the Hills is located on Main Street in Blowing Rock. For more information, please call the church office at (828) 295-7323, or follow us on Facebook @ Music from St Mary of the Hills.