St. Thomas holds Advent service

Published 4:47 pm Friday, December 9, 2011

Jim McGowin (Left) and Pat Richard (Right) practice at St. Thomas to prepare for Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols occurring on Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

St Thomas Church will be hosting a new version of Lessons and Carols this holiday season.

On Dec. 15, at 6:30 p.m., the community is invited Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols.

Charlie Kennedy, choirmaster at St. Thomas Episcopal Church said it’s a somewhat different view of the Christmas story.

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“Every year for the past 10 or 12 years we have done some sort of Lessons and Carols during the year and typically we have done the Christmas version of Lessons and Carols,” Kennedy said. “The service is probably 100 years old. There’s a Christmas version, Easter and even an All Hallows Eve. This year, at the suggestion of our new rector, Reid McCormick, instead of doing Christmas lessons and carols, he wanted to do Advent.”

The service will include The Saint Thomas Singers, guest soloists – Patricia Ballew, Starla Jones, Brad Jones, April Lowery, Tom Payne and Jean-Anne Heupel. There will also be an orchestra made up of Molly Rigell, Pat Richard, Carol Walters, Jean-Anne Heupel, Jim McGowin and Bob Glasscock and Kennedy.

“I’ve been able to persuade some of our friends and leading soloists,” Kennedy said. “We have some fine singers in it and hopefully we will sound good. Reid is going to sing one of the numbers, the opening number will sing it acapella while the congregation is lighting candles and then the choir will join him on the last verse.”

According to the event’s program, Advent is the time before Christmas.

“In the early part of Advent they focus upon the coming of Christ as Judge at the Last Day,” the program states. “As the season progresses, the readings in company with the lectionary look towards the birth of the promised Messiah, and reflect upon the unique roles played by John the Baptist, the Lord’s forerunner, and of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in the plan of salvation.”

Kennedy said this is an opportunity for a community to come together no matter regardless of denomination.

“It might be interesting to people from other denominations who don’t focus as much on Advent as St. Thomas does,” Kennedy said. “This offers a little different view which is slightly earlier in the season. It’ll be a very nice service.”