Join us for a special event to welcome the season of Advent. Lessons & Carols is a traditional service of music and scripture readings that center on the coming of Christ into the world. Program directed by Jason Callon.
Time & Place
Wednesday, December 4th at 6:30pm
Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church – 3580 North Benton Ave
No admission fee (but an offering will be received for five local charities)
- The Our Redeemer’s Chancel Choir
- The Our Redeemer’s Gracenotes Bell Choir
- The Children’s Choir
- The Rejoice Band
- The WOW Youth Band
- Special guest musicians from the Helena Symphony Orchestra
- Processional – For Unto Us a Child Is Born (Handel)
- Welcome by Pastor Kendra Wilde
- Isaiah 40: 1-5
- Little Hands (performed by the Children’s Choir)
- a spoken litany (led by Carol Will)
- John 1: 1-5
- All Creatures of Our God and King (contemporary arrangement by the Rejoice Band)
- Zechariah 2: 10-13
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel (by the Gracenotes Bell Choir)
- Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7
- Savior of the Nations Come (by the Rejoice Band)
- Luke 1: 26-38
- Come, Messiah (Lloyd Larson; performed by the Chancel Choir)
- Luke 1: 46-55
- Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (performed by orchestra and Chancel Choir)
- Revelation 21: 3-7
- Duet performed by Lisa Williams-Mathews and Kevin Mathews
- 1 John 4: 7-14
- What Child Is This? (contemporary by the WOW Youth Band)
- Romans 8: 18-25
- Closing prayer by Pastor Arne Bergland
- Sending – Peace, Peace (by the Chancel Choir)
Giving is one of the cornerstones of our Christian faith; it is one of the most important things we can do. “Freely you have received; freely give.” -Matthew 10:8
This year, we will take an offering during the program that will be given equally to five of our benevolence partners: God’s Love, the Friendship Center, Helena Habitat for Humanity, Good Sam Helena, and Family Promise.
What is Advent?
Advent is a season of waiting in the Christian faith. We anticipate the birth of Christ through scripture, leading to the Christmas season, which begins on Christmas Day (or, for many, on Christmas Eve). We spend time reflecting and praying. We await Christ’s coming and we meditate on what that coming means: we are forgiven and accepted children of God. This tradition is at least 1500 years old. You can read more about Advent here and here.
Why are they called lessons and carols?
Lessons are pieces of scripture that teach or instruct or, in some way, inform how we are to be. Carols are pieces of music that are sacred and relate to a festival (such as Advent or Christmas).
What are the symbols of Advent?
An Advent Wreath is placed on a table on the altar and contains five candles: four around the perimeter (one of which is pink) and the largest, the white Christ candle in the center, which is not lit until Christmas is celebrated. Each week, an additional candle is lit and they each have their own significance. This tradition has roots in Northern Europe, where folks would light extra candles during the darkest times of year.
Advent calendars are a fun family tradition for many that date back to 19th Century Germany. Each day of the calendar is accompanied by a treat and revealing that treat is a fun way for parents to teach their children about the significance of the season. You can find Advent calendars at many stores, or shop online here. But hurry! Advent starts December 1st.
Colors are also very important. Purple and blue are traditional seasonal colors. Purple symbolizes penitence and the royalty of Christ. Blue represents waiting (as a deep blue sky awaits the sun). Blue also represents royalty, as a deep blue dye used to be a very expensive process to make (and thus only accessible to royalty).
How is Christmas celebrated differently in other churches?
In the liturgical tradition (Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, etc), we do not consider the Christmas season to begin until Christmas has arrived. Then the Christmas celebration and season continue through the first half of January. This is the time we sing Christmas carols, and not before. During Advent, we are waiting for Christ’s arrival and so we sing anticipatory hymns.
Other non-liturgical churches (such as Baptists) will vary based on their own personal traditions, often singing Christmas carols in the lead up to Christmas and then ending the season after Christmas day.