Lessons and Carols sings for everyone

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, December 11, 2013

During these last two weeks of Advent, everyone will be preparing for the anniversary of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

However, with too much of our limited time spent on purchasing gifts, decorating homes and preparing delicious holiday meals, the true meaning of Christmas can somehow get lost in the shuffle. Here is one great suggestion for averting this ever-growing dilemma.

The annual Christmas program at St. Mary Basilica can be the perfect solution for putting all woes back in perspective.

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At 3 p.m. Sunday, this multi-parish celebration, “Lessons and Carols,” will be presented at the historic and magnificent St. Mary Basilica on the corner of South Union and Main streets. Dating back to the late 19th century in England, this wonderful service has been adapted and performed world-wide during the Advent and Christmas seasons for nearly 100 years.

Representatives of the four area Catholic congregations — St. Mary, Holy Family, St. Anne and Assumption — will offer up this celebration, featuring nine lessons from the Old and New Testaments interspersed with Christmas music complementing and reinforcing those biblical readings.

The music, coordinated by Cherish McCallum who is also the co-chairman of the program, will be provided by the choirs of St. Mary, Holy Family, St. Mary Saturday Contemporary and Cathedral Elementary.

Dr. Patrick Doherty, director of the St. Mary Choir and organist Donna Shaffer of Alcorn and various guest artists will also perform.

Not to be left out, the congregation will be invited to join in and raise their voices “to make a joyful noise unto the Lord!”

St. Mary has an elevator for easy access, and a nursery will be provided in the Family Life Center across the street from the church for infants and children up to 3. A reception will follow at the Family Life Center.

The public is encouraged to attend free of charge.

May everyone who enters the doors of this breath-taking Basilica be awe-inspired by its beauty and humbled by God’s presence. May Peace and Goodwill enter everyone’s hearts, minds and souls because after all, “It’s all about Jesus!”


Gwen S. McCalip is co-chairwoman and member of St. Mary Basilica.