Christmas Vespers Spreads Peace and Sentiment to the Cynical

Byline: Xiaomeng Li

Posted: December 12, 2010

The Chaplain's Office held this year's Christmas Vespers on Sun, Dec. 5 at 7:00pm in the Alumnae Chapel in Thompson Hall.

As usual, the Chaplain's Office decorated the chapel with a Christmas tree, ferns and candles. The service contained a traditional mixture of carols and Bible readings. The programs featured performances by the Choir and the College Organist, David Erickson.

Unique Music Selections for Vespers

Elizabeth Shoenfelt, director of the Wilson College Choir, says, "This year we did some arrangements of traditional—but far less familiar—carols in addition to selections from Benjamin Britten's ‘Ceremony of Carols' in which the choir sang in both Latin and Middle English. I was excited for the unique repertoire we would be singing and for the beauty and nostalgia of the entire experience." A guest conductor, Gerry Kowallis, conducted the Choir at the Vespers because Shoenfelt was out of town.

Highlights of the Evening

The scripture readers included Wilson students, faculty and staff. A group of liturgical dancers, directed by Deborah Austin, Assoc. Prof. of Chemistry, performed an interpretation of the piece "Waiting" by Pepper Choplin, a carol composer.

"In the Christian tradition, Advent is a time of preparation for and expectation of the celebration of Jesus' birth. It is so easy to get distracted by both the cynicism and sentimentality of this time of year in our culture. I would hope that Christmas Vespers will be a time when we can join together as community in celebrating the reality of Emmanuel, God-with-us, at every time of year," says Chaplain Rosie Magee.

Last Updated: September 25, 2011

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