December 9 & 16
4:30 p.m. ORGAN CONCERT
featuring Scott Dettra
5 p.m. LESSONS & CAROLS
featuring Incarnation Parish Choir
A beloved and bewigged (if long-deceased) composer, a retiring U. S. senator, and a Coast Guard boxer turned regular-guy actor will pool their distinct abilities Dec. 9 and 16 to make real the richness of Christmas.
The venerable service of “Lessons and Carols” takes place at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, 3966 McKinney Ave., Dallas, with familiar choral settings and scriptural accounts that look ahead to the birth of Jesus Christ, Son of God. The Church of the Incarnation is renowned for the beauty and solemnity with which choir and selected readers unfold the Christmas narrative according to a much-loved pattern dating from 1918.
Well-known members of the local community – including, this year, U. S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Richardson-born actor and ex-pugilist Burton Gilliam, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, and former NFL defensive back Scott Turner – read from the traditional King James Version of the Bible the story of humanity’s redemption through the birth of Jesus Christ.
So popular has Lessons and Carols at Incarnation become in recent years that the service – free and open to members of all faiths – is held on back-to-back Sundays. Each begins at 5pm.
Lessons and Carols began as a Christmas Eve experience for the community of King’s College, Cambridge, England, in the final year of the First World War. Its instant popularity with a war-sick populace signaled widespread thirst for deeper, closer engagement with the message of the Savior’s birth.
Adopted after World War II by various Episcopal churches in the United States, Lessons and Carols has been performed at Church of the Incarnation for nearly seven decades as a prelude to the church season of Advent, during which Christians prepare and equip themselves spiritually for the joyous coming of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The choirs of the Church of the Incarnation, comprised of eight professional section leaders and approximately thirty volunteers, maintain a vigorous schedule, including more than 125 choral services per year, as well as concerts and special events. With a repertoire that ranges from medieval chant to 20th-century works, the choir is especially known for its singing of Choral Evensong, and is one of only a few parish church choirs in the United States to do so on a weekly basis.
Audio: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” clip