Lessons and Carols, A Prayerful Experience for the Advent Season

View of the congregation

“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).

View of the choir loft from the pews

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.”

Banners carried during lessons and carols

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.

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Cindee Case

Cindee Case

Cindee Case has served as the Diocese of Youngstown's Social Media Minister since March 1, 2021, following more than three decades of service in youth ministries and young adult ministries, where she first began dabbling in social media in 2004 on MySpace. Cindee develops creative video, text and graphic content on various social media platforms, accompanies those who engage with the diocese on social media, and provides social media formation for leaders in parishes, schools and Catholic agencies. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Kent State University in Behavioral Sciences and a Master of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University of New Orleans. Cindee can be reached at ccase@youngstowndiocese.org and (330) 744-8451 ext. 280.
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