One way to prepare for Christmas is to sing and reflect upon scripture. Our parish’s Schola Cantorum group is presenting Lessons and Carols this coming Sunday, December 16, at 6:00 p.m. in the church (St. Thomas More, 8501 Calumet Avenue in Munster).
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first held on Christmas Eve 1918. It was planned by Eric Milner-White, who, at the age of thirty-four, had just been appointed Dean of King’s College, Cambridge after experience as an army chaplain. A revision of the Order of Service was made in 1919, involving rearrangement of the lessons, and from that date the service has always begun with the hymn Once in Royal David’s City.
The backbone of the service, the lessons and the prayers, has remained virtually unchanged. The original service was, in fact, adapted from an Order drawn up by W. Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, for use in the wooden shed, which then served as his cathedral in Truro, on Christmas Eve 1880.
Wherever the service is heard and however it is adapted, whether the music is provided by choir or congregation, the pattern and strength of the service, as Dean Milner-White pointed out, derive from the lessons and not the music.
“The main theme is the development of the loving purposes of God seen through the windows and the words of the Bible.”
Another way we prepare for Christmas is by going to confession. The Advent Penances available in the Southlake Deanery available next week are below. All times are at 7:00 p.m. unless noted otherwise.
Sunday, December 16
St. Bridget, Hobart (4:00 p.m.)
Monday, December 17
Our Lady of Consolation, Merrillville
Our Lady of Grace, Highland
St. Matthias, Crown Point (5:00 p.m.)
Tuesday, December 18
St. Mary, Crown Point
St. Thomas More, Munster
Wednesday, December 19
Holy Name, Cedar Lake
St. James, Highland
St. Michael, Schererville
Thursday, December 20
St. Andrew, Merrillville
St. Mary, Griffith/St. Ann, Black Oak
Friday, December 21
Ss. Peter & Paul, Merrillville (1:00 p.m.)