Community, Faith and Beauty: Lessons and Carols Announce Christ’s Coming

COVID-19 had to step aside for Jesus at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, on Dec. 6.

The Benedictine College Music Department presented the annual Service of Lessons and Carols in St. Benedict’s Abbey Church that night Watch the broadcast above or on Facebook at this video link (program starts at 5:45 mark).

“The night was very special. It’s been two years since the last in-person Service of Lessons and Carols at Benedictine College,” said Benedictine College’s Timothy Tharaldson, who organized the event. “It felt so wonderful to bring this annual experience back into the life of our community.” Click here for photos of the event.

The program is modeled after the traditional Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, originated in Cambridge, England in 1918, and includes Old Testament readings and Advent and Christmas hymns that prepare the congregation for the coming of Christ’s birth.

The evening featured the college’s Schola Corvorum, St. Scholastica Singers, St. Benedict Singers, Liturgical Singers and Chamber Singers, and monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey. Mrs. Laura Goehner-Moreno was piano accompanist and Ms. Annija Veitnere, Scripture Consultant.

The evening featured the world premiere of “Pars mea Dominus” by Timothy Jon Tharaldson.

Other musical selections included “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” by Sir Edward Bairstow; “Veni Domine” by Felix Mendelssohn; “Nowell, Nowell, This is the Salutacion” arranged by Gary Rauschman; “Ave Maria” in Gregorian chant; “Diffusa est gratia” by Giovanni Maria Nanino; “This Endris Night” by Sarah Quartel; and both “Quem vidistis” and “Videntes Stellam” by Francis Poulenc.

Br. Florian Rumpza, O.S.B., served as a conductor for one piece. His solemn profession as a monk of St. Benedict’s Abbey is scheduled for Dec. 11. He is pictured above with Brother Leven Harton and Brother Angelus Atkinson.

Readers included Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis and astronomer Christopher Shingledecker, who was recently recognized for a significant discovery and who helped organize a Gold Mass for the college.

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Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.