Celebrate the hope, joy and spirituality of the Advent season at the lesson and song festivals that will be presented in several churches across Maine in the coming weeks.
The Festival of Lessons and Songs is an Advent tradition that dates back to the end of the 19th century. It is a mixture of scriptures, prayers and Christmas carols chosen to tie in with the themes of the season. This is one of the few times that Christmas carols such as “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” are sung in church before Christmas Eve. The story of salvation will be told through nine scripture readings or “lessons,” which begin with man’s fall in the Garden of Eden and continue until the birth of Christ.
Festivals are free and scheduled at 5 pm on Sunday, December 5 at Holy Cross Church, 124 Cottage Road, South Portland; 7:00 p.m. Friday, December 10, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress St., Portland; and 7 p.m. Saturday, December 18, at St. John the Baptist Church, 39 Pleasant Street, Brunswick.
In addition, every Sunday afternoon of Advent, St. Mary’s Church, 144 Lincoln St. in Bath, will host 30-minute presentations of song, music, prayer and reflection. Each session will run from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and everyone is invited to attend the gatherings on December 5, 12 and 19.
A special Advent section on the Diocese of Portland features many useful resources, including a variety of prayers, blessings, and reflections; downloadable and interactive calendars; and lists of events for the diocese. The section is on portlanddiocese.org/advent.
Retired rector in Bowdoinham has a passion for painting