The Bristol Press – Festival of Lessons & Carols returns with a warm welcome
NEW BRITAIN – Words like “sacred” and “precious” were spoken inside South Congregational Church on Sunday evening, as choir members walked the aisles of the shrine, bathed in candles.
The Festival of Lessons & Carols is back this Christmas season, live and in person. Hundreds of people were in attendance, grateful to be a part of this beloved New Britain tradition.
“For us, it’s very moving both in a dark and joyful way,” said church member Laurie Miner, arranging birdhouses on a gift table in the Assyrian living room of the church before. the start of the event.
Festival goers had the opportunity to do some shopping at a holiday market after the event.
As a member of the South Church Music Series Steering Committee, Miner was very committed to the return of the Festival of Lessons & Carols this year.
“I think the recent increase (in covid-19 cases) makes this even more valuable,” she said. “A lot of us don’t know what’s going to happen. You have to seize the moment. ”
The music program consisted of nine lessons from the scriptures accompanied by nine Christmas carols and was interspersed with blessings from the clergy.
The first lesson was “Jesse’s Root” read by volunteer Kyle Anderson. It was preceded by the community song of “O Come all Ye Faithful”.
The Festival of Lessons & Carols 2020 was featured in video format on South Church’s YouTube page due to pandemic restrictions in place last winter. The program featured a compilation of lessons and Christmas carols from past festivals held at the church over the years.
The return of the event this year meant a lot to festival leaders, Reverend Dr Benjamin Doolittle and Reverend Jane Rowe, as well as members of the church chancellor’s choir and local residents for whom it has become a annual Christmas tradition.
“Coming out of COVID, it’s such an amazing time for us to sing again and come together as a community of faith,” said choir president Timothy O’Leary. “We just feel very blessed. ”
South Church pastor Jane Rowe greeted people as they entered the church on Sunday evening.
People who didn’t feel comfortable attending the event in person were given the option to watch it live online while it was being filmed.
“We hope we’re not so crowded that it’s not safe, but we’ll be keeping an eye on that,” Rowe said. “We also broadcast it live at Cooper Hall so people can watch it there and on our YouTube page.”
The festival was free to all, but donations were graciously accepted for the South Church Survival Fund, which cares for the poor, hungry and homeless residents of New Britain, as well as for Music Series, the main sponsor of the festival.
Erica Drzewiecki can be contacted at email@example.com.