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A Musical Advent

2010 November 27
by Gordon Reid

This year, Advent at St Clement’s is going  to be a specially musical one. As well as the usual settings of the High Mass every Sunday, there are several extra offerings.

On Advent 2, December 5, we have our Festival of Advent Lessons and Carols – no Christmas Carols allowed! The Choir are all professionals, but are giving their time and talents this evening free, so that all the money collected will go to St Clement’s charitable work. Among the lovely music will be “O Thou, the Central Orb” by Charles Wood, and Benjamin Britten’s great “Hymn to the Virgin”.

On Monday, December 13, we will be welcoming the Combined Choirs of Jesus College, Cambridge, who will present a  lunchtime Carol Concert beginning at 12.15. They are on a wide American tour, and we are very happy to have them in St Clement’s. I hope some of the many people who work in Center City will grab the chance to hear this renowned choir.

The other two musical events in Advent are not really St Clement’s things at all but they take place in the church. For many years, the Philadelphia Singers have presented their “Christmas on Logan Square” concerts in our church, and usually they fill every  seat twice over. This year, the concerts will be on two Saturdays, December 11 & 18 at 5 p.m. Of course, I am far too charitable to point  out that it is neither Christmas nor on Logan Square!

Then we do get to Christmas, and “Joy to the world” will ring out with all the other hackneyed but somehow spine-tingling carols at the Midnight Mass and the Mass of the Day.

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