St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr

St. Stephen

Today's morning services were Lessons and Carols focused on St. Stephen.

Today’s morning services were in the Lessons and Carols format focused on St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr. At the 8:00 am service, the carols were all congregational, but even though we woke up at 5 am this morning, and found ourselves trying to finish up the worship booklet for tonight’s Vespers, I was very hard pressed to pull together all the music. Five of the nine hymns were found in books other than the Evangelical Lutheran Worship, so I had a big stack of hymnals on the organ bench. At one point, I started to play the introduction to “While shepherds watched their flocks” and Carl raced over to the organ. “That’s the wrong hymn! It’s supposed to be ‘Lo, how a rose e’er blooming!’ ” Luckily the two hymns were in the same key of F major, so I finished up the intro, and we launched into the correct hymn! God did deliver me! I also ended up playing the McNeil Robinson “Lord’s Prayer” from memory because I had forgotten to pull the accompaniment.

It’s probably nothing short of a miracle that the LCH choir could pull off a Lessons and Carols service the day after Christmas. At the 10:30 service, even though the music was quite challenging and certainly under-rehearsed, the choir came through with shining colors. This is the service in which all the representatives of the choirs and church hierarchy read the lessons. Here’s the order in which we read:

First Lesson: Miranda Lentz, F.R.O.G.S. chorister
Second Lesson: Jimmy Castro, 8:00 am ensemble
Third Lesson: Jerelyn Watanabe, 10:30 am chorister
Fourth Lesson: Keane Ishii, Compline Choir director
Fifth Lesson: Allen Bauchle, assistant choirmaster
Sixth Lesson: Katherine Crosier, organist (I got the lesson about the stoning of Stephen)
Seventh Lesson: Carl Crosier, cantor
Eighth Lesson: Olivia Castro, council president
Ninth Lesson: The Rev. Jeffrey Lilley, pastor

The choral music included:

Eya, martyr Stephane (medieval carol with handbells, arranged by Carl Crosier)
Adam lay ybounden (Philip Ledger)
There is a flower sprung of a tree (Stanley Vann)
A maiden most gentle (French carol, arranged by Andrew Carter)
Carol on St. Steven (Peter Maxwell Davies)
Nativitie (Rodney Lister)
Impetuum fecerunt unanimes (John Sheppard)
Bethlehem down (Peter Warlock)

Kudos to Naomi Castro, Karyn Castro and David del Rocco for holding onto their solos in the Peter Maxwell Davies anthem, with its extreme dissonance including many tritones, minor second and seventh clashes. Yes, those were the actual notes that Davies really wrote — our three soloists were singing the music correctly!

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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