Lessons and Carols will be presented at St. Joseph’s

Lessons and Carols will be presented at St. Joseph’s
Lee Elliott

Carlos Solis, front left, Abigail Zeedyk, Linda Rute, Barbara Rice; back row, G. Randall Gibbs, Jeremiah Jones, April Yoder, Ryan Yoder and Christine Rice, rehearsing for Lessons and Carols


Advent Vespers, a service of Lessons and Carols, will be presented at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. A musical prelude by the Reeves Handbells of Dover First Moravian Church and a brass ensemble will begin at 5:30 p.m. The service includes readings and congregational singing, along with choral responses by area choirs.

Lessons and Carols consists of scripture reading, beginning with the Old Testament and ending with the birth of Christ. It tells the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus.

The format for the service is based on an order by Edward White Benson, later archbishop of Canterbury, for Christmas Eve 1880 in Truro Cornwall. It has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the world. The program will include traditional carols sung by the choirs and the congregation.

Directors for the event include Kristi Prucha, Delphian Chorale; Brian Botdorf, brass ensemble; Joan Wenzel, percussion; Ron Barkett, First United Methodist Church; Franklin Miller, Legacy Christian School; G. Randall Gibbs, Reeves Handbells/Moravian Chancel Choir; Jeanne Baker, St. John’s United Church of Christ; Kateri Renicker, TCCS; and Beth Houze, Kathy Philips, Carlos Solis and Jeremiah Jones, directors of St. Joseph choirs.

Host Pastor Jones said, “The ecumenical service was brought into existence in 2010 by Kevin Kutz, who was director of music at St. Joseph Catholic Church at the time. It has continued to be an annual community event every year since then, with the exception of two years during the pandemic.

“I am happy to carry on this special tradition. It brings to mind Psalm 133, which states, ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people dwell together in unity.’ It is a unique time when Christian brothers and sisters of different denominations of Christianity come together to celebrate that one most important thing that we all need — the salvation of God offered to us through our Savior Jesus Christ.”

The service is free to the public. St. Joseph’s Church is located at 613 N. Tuscarawas Ave. in Dover.

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