Category Archives: Music Ministry

Advent and Christmas

Download a printable Advent and Christmas services flyer.

Unless otherwise noted, all child care is for infants through four-year-olds and will be offered on the first-floor Preschool hallway. Children’s Chapel will be offered during all 9:00 a.m. Sunday services during Advent.

First Sunday of Advent, December 3

  • Holy Eucharist 7:45, 9:00 and 11:15 a.m., 5:00 p.m.
  • Child care will be available during the 9:00 and 11:15 services.
  • Formation classes for children and youth will meet in their usual locations.
  • Breakfast will be served from 8:00 to 9:30 as usual, with a complimentary breakfast served from 10:15 to 11:00 a.m. during the gift-wrapping event.

Prison Ministries Sunday. Prayers will be offered at all services that day for those who are incarcerated and their families and for jail and prison employees.

“In the Name of the Father,” an outreach ministry in which St. Paul’s joins the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministries to provide gifts for children whose fathers are incarcerated in the Forsyth Correctional Center. At 10:15 a.m., all are encouraged to gather in Colhoun to wrap the Christmas presents.

St. Nicholas Festival. The Children’s Ministries will host the St. Nicholas Festival on Sunday, December 3 at 4:00 p.m. in Colhoun A. Families are asked to bring items for birthday bags for low-income children.

Wednesday, December 6

“A Holy Pause in Advent” will be offered from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the chapel, parlor and Colhoun. Clergy will lead various self-guided meditations of prayer, labyrinth walks and contemplation with icons. The Children’s Ministry will offer prayer stations for children who attend with their parents. Spend an hour preparing your soul to receive the Christ Child in Christmas by taking a pause to pray.

Thursday, December 7 through Monday, December 18

“Lego My Bible” Exhibit in Colhoun B and C

Second Sunday of Advent, December 10

  • Holy Eucharist 7:45, 9:00 and 11:15 a.m., 5:00 p.m.
  • Child care will be available during the 9:00 and 11:15 services.
  • Breakfast will be served by the Men’s Ministry from 8:00 to 9:30 in Colhoun B.

Rector’s Forum: A Very Special Advent: Sacred Storytelling in Christmas Movies, part 1, will be presented by clergy at 10:15 a.m. in Colhoun A. The class will view and discuss “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Third Sunday of Advent, December 17

  • Holy Eucharist 7:45, 9:00 and 11:15 a.m.
  • A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols 5:00 p.m.
  • Child care will be available during the 9:00 and 11:15 services and during A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.
  • Breakfast will be served by the Men’s Ministry from 8:00 to 9:30 in Colhoun B.

Rector’s Forum: A Very Special Advent: Sacred Storytelling in Christmas Movies, part 2, will be presented by clergy at 10:15 a.m. in Colhoun A. The class will view and discuss A Charlie Brown Christmas.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will be offered at 5:00 p.m., featuring the premiere of a commissioned carol. All are welcome to a reception in Colhoun A following the service.

Wednesday, December 20

  • St. Thomas Day Service 5:30 p.m. in the chapel

St. Paul’s will offer a special service of Holy Eucharist, St. Thomas Day: A Service of Light and Hope. The Christmas holidays may bring joy, but for many people, the season draws out doubt, depression and loss. The day we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, the doubter, is a good time to remember that we are not alone and to draw together toward the light of Christ. All are welcome to join us for worship and a time to meditate on God’s love even while we might feel disconnected from the season’s holiday cheer.

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve, December 24

Holy Eucharist 10:00 a.m. in the chapel

Children’s Christmas Pageant and Holy Eucharist 3:00 p.m.
Child care for infants and toddlers will be available beginning at 2:30 p.m. Children who wish to participate in the pageant should arrive early to dress in costume.

White Gifts. St. Paul’s families traditionally bring gifts wrapped in white paper to the Christmas Eve afternoon service. The gifts will be given to the residents of the Murdoch Developmental Center in Butner, a residential facility for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Festival Holy Eucharist 5:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m. Preludes begin at 4:30 and 10:30 p.m. Child care will be available during the 5:00 service for infants through four-year-olds, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Christmas Day, Monday, December 25

Holy Eucharist 10:00 a.m.

No child care will be provided. Children are welcome to attend the service with their families.

The First Sunday After Christmas, December 31
Holy Eucharist 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m.
Child care will be available during the 10:00 service.

The First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord, January 7

  • Holy Eucharist 8:00 a.m.
  • Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist 10:00 a.m.
  • Feast of Lights 5:00 p.m.

Children’s Ministries’ Bethlehem Village 4:00 p.m. Children and families will travel back through time to Bethlehem Village to learn about Epiphany.

Feast of Lights 5:00 p.m. This annual pageant depicts the Magi’s visit to the Christ child and the spreading of his light throughout the world.

Child care will be available and Children’s Chapel will be offered during the 10:00 a.m. service. There will be no formation classes. Child care during the Feast of Lights service opens at 4:30 p.m.

Nine Lessons and Carols

On Sunday, December 17, at 5:00 p.m. in the nave, St. Paul’s will present our tenth annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, with a reception following in Colhoun A. The service was inspired by the Christmas Eve service of the same name held in King’s College Chapel in Cambridge and includes carols and readings from the Bible.

The opening carol is always “Once in Royal David’s City.” At St. Paul’s, the readers of the nine lessons have traditionally included community leaders and leaders from within the parish. The carols will be sung by the St. Paul’s choirs.

  • “Once in royal David’s City” (Irby) Descant Stephen Cleobury
  • Hodie Christus Natus Es Healey Willan
  • The Lord at first did Adam make David Willcocks
  • The Blessed Son of God Vaughan Williams
  • Resonemus Laudibus David Willcocks
  • In the bleak midwinter Harold Darke
  • God rest you merry, gentlemen Setting David Willcocks
  • A Hymn to the Virgin Benjamin Britten
  • Myn lyking Richard Terry
  • Riu Riu Chiu 16th Latin Carol
  • The first Nowell Setting by David Willcocks
  • Here is the little door Herbert Howells
  • Of the father’s love begotten (Divinum mysterium) Descant David Willcocks
  • Calm on the listening ears of night Dan Locklair
  • Hark,the herald angels sing Felix Mendelssohn, Descant Stephen Cleobury

This year’s festival will feature the premiere of “Calm on the Listening Ear of Night” by Dan Locklair, with text by Edmund H. Sears. Parishioner Aurelia Gray Eller commissioned the piece in memory of her husband, John DeWalden Eller, Jr., and her first grandchild, Mark Glenn Cathey.

The tradition of commissioning a carol was established at St. Paul’s in 2014 with the premiere of “Angel Song,” a Christmas anthem composed by Dan Locklair. Parishioners John and P.J. Williams commissioned the piece to honor the music program of St. Paul’s and our Organist and Choirmaster, Dr. John E. Cummins. In 2015, parishioners Ken and Ann Zuhr commissioned “A Sound of Singing Fills the Air” by composer Malcolm Archer. Archer conducted the premiere performance of the carol, which was in honor of Ann Holabein Zuhr. In 2016, parishioner and choir member Anne Armfield commissioned “Christmas Hath a Darkness” by the Rev. William Bradley Roberts, with text by Christina Rossetti.