Festival of Lessons and Carols in Dennysville

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The mystery and the beauty of Christmas are to be featured at the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols held on Sunday evening, December 22, in the Congregational Meetinghouse in Dennysville, at 7 p.m.  Nine traditional lessons telling the story of Christmas will be accompanied by carols illuminating texts from the Old and New Testaments, led by the Dennysville Festival Choir.

From the whimsical medieval lyrics of “Adam lay y bounden”, set to music by Boris Ord in the twentieth century, the carols follow the thread of scriptural prophecy,  starting with the biblical Garden of Eden.  Music in a predominantly minor key, including  “I wonder as I wander”,  “A Spotless Rose” by Herbert Howells, and “Once, as I remember,” introduce words and images from the Book of Genesis and the prophet Isaiah.  The German-Latin macaronic carol “In Dulci Jubilo,” sounds a note of coming joy, while “A Virgin Most Pure” by English composer Charles Wood and Gustav Holst’s “In the bleak midwinter” set the stage for the Nativity.  The sweetness of Bethlehem’s manger is recalled by Bach’s “O Little One Sweet,” and the “Lute Book Lullaby.”

 “On Christmas Night” inventively adapts a baroque dance tune to tell the familiar account of how the shepherds, social undesirables in the ancient world, were the very first to be drawn to the newborn child.  In “The Three Kings,” the familiar German chorale “How brightly shines the Morning Star” winds around a baritone solo to supercharge the story of the strange arrival of mysterious visitors from the east.  Andrew Llyod-Webber’s “Pie Jesu”, first performed in New York City in 1985, anticipates the coming cost of the Crucifixion, while John Gardener’s triumphant “Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day” vigorously announces the yet to be grasped Resurrection. 

Throughout the service the choir will lead the congregation in familiar and much loved carols, including ‘O Come, all ye faithful,’ and many more, concluding with the glorious ‘Hark, the herald angels sing.’  The entire community is welcome to come, in the words of Edmund Sears, “to rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing.”

For more information please call Colin Windhorst at 726-3905.