December Music Controversy

I have a long-running friendly debate with Peter Lakes, and some members of the choir, about music in December. The church calendar says that it is the season of Advent and so I like to sing Advent songs. You know the great Advent songs—“Watcher, Tell Us of the Night,” “Come, O Long Expected Jesus, “ and “There’s A Voice in the Wilderness.” You may not remember those songs, but surely you know the most famous Advent song, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” One of the problems with Advent music is it isn’t well known, and much of it tends to be slow—some even call them durges.

My detractors say that we are nearing Christmas and it is time to sing Christmas carols. I have traditionally held off on signing Christmas songs until the Sunday before Christmas. The problem with waiting to sing Christmas music until Christmas is that most of us don’t want to sing any of these songs after December 30. The music is great, but it does become old as we begin to hear carols soon after Halloween in the malls.

I still find it odd to sing about Jesus being born way before the day it supposedly happened, but I have softened my dogmatic stance. So this year we are beginning with a Christmas carol this Sunday—the second Sunday in Advent.

Regardless of where you stand on the great Advent/Christmas song debate, one of the best parts of the Christmas season is the music. During the month of December our worship services will be enlivened with some of the best music of the Advent and Christmas seasons. The schedule is as follows:

· This Sunday the Northport Chorale will join us for worship. The Chorale is directed by our own Peter Lakes. We may have as many as 50 members of the chorale singing in our service. Besides their great music I’m looking forward to our hymn singing to sound much better!
· Next Sunday, December 16, we will have selections from Vivaldi’s Gloria featuring strings and flute.
· Also, in the evening of December 16 the Pilgrim Fellowship will go caroling for members of our church and nursing homes. They will begin at the parsonage at 6:00 PM following our Open House.
· On Sunday, December 23, we have our annual Christmas music service with our choir, handbells and soloists.

It is a season for song. Be sure to invite friends to come and experience our worship with all this special music—we want to share these great services

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