“In the stillness of this cathedral church, we gather to mark the season of Advent, a time of waiting upon the Lord: who came once in the flesh as savior and Redeemer of the world, who comes daily in word, Sacrament and ordinary moments of human encounter, who will come again in glorious majesty to establish God’s Kingdom of justice and Peace.”
So began the 2023 Advent Procession with Lessons and Carols at St. Columba Cathedral on December 10. The prayer service focused on the seven O Antiphons, which are titles given to the Messiah, typically prayed during evening prayer from December 17 through the 24. They are: O’ Sapientia (meaning O Wisdom); O’ Adonai (O Lord or Ruler); O’ Radix (O Root of Jesse); O’ Clavis (O Key of David); O’ Oriens (O Radiant Dawn); O’ Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations) and O’ Emmanuel (O God with Us).
Each Antiphon was sung while a banner with a symbol for that name was placed in the sanctuary. A scripture reading followed, along with a hymn or anthem, and a prayer. It concluded with the assembly singing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. A reception in St. Coumba Hall rounded out the evening.
Linda Tote of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in McDonald saw the Lessons and Carols event in her parish bulletin and decided “it would be nice to try. The music was wonderful!” Lee Evans attended as well and found the “the readings chosen were perfect!” He added, “It was all so well choreographed.”
Chuck Zamary said that he joined St. Columba parish two years ago and wanted to get more involved. He enjoyed the Handel’s Messiah concert a week earlier and decided to give Lessons and Carols a try. “It was wonderful and great for Advent. I am very happy that we came.”
St. Columba Cathedral has been hosting Lessons and Carols for many years, but this year, they extended the invitation to the entire diocese. You can watch a recording of the event online.