Everyone is welcome. The service is free, but donations will be gladly accepted in honor of the performers, our beautiful community, and our gratitude to God.
Any funds collected will go to help those in need in the Cedar City area.
This is a joyful and upbeat service full of music and readings from scripture. This year we will be blessed with the music of the Madrigal Choir of Canyon View High School, under the direction of Adrianne Tawa; solos from Larry Johnson and Dr. Carol Ann Modesitt, SUU music professors; The Hofeling Performers Minus One from Cedar City; and Dr. Becky Sue Moore of the Community Dental Clinic and St. Jude’s Episcopal Church.
The Readers will include Lay Rabbi Lewis Mayron, Dr. SS Moorty, retired SUU English professor, Pastor John Keith from Red Hills Baptist Church, Pastor John Guthrie from Community Presbyterian Church, Pastor John Jaster from Trinity Lutheran Church, Georgia Beth Thompson from the Cedar City Council, retired United Methodist Pastor Hugh Roberts, and Dr. Wayne Hinton, Anne and Dixie Leavitt from the Public Affairs Council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Rev. Susan Wiltsey Smith and the Rev. Dr. Lee Montgomery will be presiders.
The word Advent from Latin means “Coming,” and Lessons and Carols is an old service which originated in the Anglican Church when carols became popular in England during the 15th and 16th Centuries.
The service was introduced in 1880 by Edward White Benson, a Church of England bishop who later became Archbishop of Canterbury, titular head of the Anglican Church and Communion, of which St. Jude’s belongs.
Throughout this season preceding Christmas we join with the prophets of old in looking forward to the coming birth of Christ. But it is not merely an historic “Coming” in the manger crib of Bethlehem that we await, but his birth here and now within our hearts.
Seventh Century carols were based on dance music, probably adapted from the dances for the chief pagan festival of the Sun Cult on the winter solstice, observed on Dec. 25 in the Fourth Century.
The early Christians replaced the pagan festival with the Feast of the Nativity to express their devotion to Christ, the “Sun of Righteousness.” Thus the Advent Season bears the theme of coming out of darkness into light. This Advent Lessons and Carols Service mirrors this theme as it progresses.
Each year at this time, St. Jude’s Episcopal Church hosts the Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols as a gift to the community. This Anglican worship service helps all of us slow down the pace of external Christmas preparations in order to prepare ourselves spiritually for the coming of Christ into our lives.
This year’s theme for the Advent Season is The Meaning is in the Waiting. After this initial Advent Lessons and Carols Service ushering in the Season, there will be smaller follow up Advent Services of readings, contemplation, prayers, singing, and sharing each Tuesday before Christmas, led and hosted by the Rev. John Guthrie, Pastor of Community Presbyterian Church and the Rev. Susan Wiltsey Smith, Vicar of St. Jude’s Episcopal Church.
On Dec. 8 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. we will meet at Community Presbyterian Church, 2279 N Wedgewood Lane and on Dec. 15, we will meet at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, 70 N. 200 West.
We issue a warm welcome to everyone in the Cedar City area. As one, let us be the community in unity we are.