One of my favorite services is the Festival of Lessons and Carols. To me it doesn’t seem like Christmas until I have attended at least one service. I have an academic fascination with carols, and I love traditional settings, as well as seeing the way composers and arrangers have brought new life to these ancient texts. This weekend I was privileged to participate in two services in two different settings. This time, though there were some fascinating twists to the traditional service.
This year we spent Christmas in Greenville. Instead of traveling to Florida like we usually do, Laura’s sister and mother came up to visit us. The foggy Christmas morning was spent opening gifts and relaxing.
Since I’ve been so obsessed with time-lapse lately, I decided to do one of our gift giving routine. Here’s a short video…
The entire video was created on an iPad 2. I used the iMotion app shot a 1 frame every five seconds. I used the Garage Band app and an Akai LPK25 keyboard to record the music, and I used the iMovie app to add titles and mix everything together.
Laura was with me in Barnes and Noble when I lingered over the leather journals. Later she apparently read my blog poston the subject. Subsequently, I received a beautiful leather-bound journal for Christmas. As I wrote earlier, the temptation was to put the journal away and use it for a special project. In my heart … Read More “An Old Fashioned Blog” »
Another Christmas has come and gone, and again this year we’ve spent it in Florida with Laura’s sister, Amy. It’s been a busy week, with boat trips, paddling trips, and explorations of the area. Normally I would have done several posts, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it. So I’ve combined a few items in one long post. Here are a few highlights and photos…
We took a couple of trips to the beach. First was a trip up to Avalon Beach on North Hutchinson Island after a shopping trip to Vero Beach. The wind was whipping, and the waves were higher than usual. We didn’t stay long at the little park, but just parked so that Laura’s mom could look out over the ocean and we could walk on the beach.
The Chia Pets have emerged from their long hibernation. The gaudy decorations having been springing forth in stores for the past month and a half. We have now hit the peak of the season for Christmas Kitsch. Laura and I make regular trips to Garden Ridge this time of year to supplement our light supplies … Read More “Christmas Kitsch” »
There were rumors and reports of snow back in Greenville. It wasn’t exactly my definition of a “white Christmas.” To me, a white Christmas is when you wake up and everything is covered in snow. However, I wasn’t going to be picky – snow is snow, and I would have enjoyed it all the same. The simple fact was that I was going to miss it all together. It was a warm 70 degrees down here.
The day began with the Wright family tradition of wrapping everything under the sun and putting it under the tree. They love to wrap/unwrap packages. It’s fun. This year Santa brought me life vests so I could take friends kayaking and a cool remote helicopter with built in camera.
It’s Christmas. That means a trip to Florida to visit Laura’s sister, Amy. Using the new kayak racks Laura gave me for my birthday, I brought down the tandem that we got last summer so that we could paddle it out on the Indian River. After an 11 hour drive, I had to hit the water as soon as I got there.
The water was quite calm, and sun was just setting as I paddled out into the channel. Since it was dusk I decided I didn’t want to get out into the main channel, but paddled out far enough so that I could watch the sun set. It was a short paddle, but enough to improve my mood immeasurably.
Sunday afternoon Laura and I attended the Service of Lessons and Carols at Furman. For the past 15 years, the Furman Chamber Choir has been presenting the program in Daniel Chapel. Tickets are incredibly hard to obtain, and we were lucky enough to get a couple of the 5:00 service. As a choir director I’ve … Read More “Lessons and Carols” »
Last night the Greenville Chorale gave its Carolina Christmas concert at McAlister Auditorium at Furman. We were joined by the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, and we repeat the concert today at Mud Creek Baptist Church for the Hendersonville audience. (The photo above is from last year’s concert.) We’ve been working on the music since mid-October. The … Read More “A Carolina Christmas” »
I collect hymnals – the older the better. It’s fascinating to see how musical tastes have changed over the years, and see which hymns were included or excluded. Language changes and various issues (such as temperance) rise and fall from prominence.
As far as Christmas Carols go, in addition to my Oxford Book of Carols, there are three hymnals that have held my attention. I actually possess one of these, and I’ve just found copies of the other two online. I guess that will have to do, if I can’t actually own the physical copies.
The first of these is Hymns Ancient and Modern, and is a general hymnal rather than being specific to Christmas. For many years it was the primary hymnal of the Church of England, and is a standard reference for hymnology. Anne Dudley put together an excellent CD of Advent and Christmas music based on tunes from the hymnal and entitled it Ancient and Modern. I was able to acquire a copy of Ancient and Modern on eBay. I think mine is the 1916 edition, and it’s a small pocket version with only the words to the hymns – no music (pictured above.)
In the mid-to-late 20th Century there was a revived interest in ancient melodies for worship. I noticed this in our most recent Presbyterian Hymnal, which included more plainsong chants and hymns with ancient origins. These next two hymnals are even older than Hymns Ancient and Modern.