This Week: Dec. 5 - 11
Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols
Tuesday, December 6
11am, Davis Chapel
This Tuesday, December 6, 2011, the School of Divinity choir will lead our community in an Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols. Our school’s service of lessons and carols, the final chapel service in our fall series, is a musical embodiment of Advent’s many meanings and is fashioned after the “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” held each Christmas Eve at King’s College in Cambridge. King’s College adapted its festival from a liturgy created by W.W. Benson (later Archbishop of Canterbury) for use on Christmas Eve in 1880. The original service was held in a wooden shed that served as Benson’s contemporary cathedral in Truro. Since 1880, the service has been adapted for use all over the world. In an effort to reflect the diverse traditions of the Wake Forest community and our world’s many longed-for advents, this year’s festival reflects a wide spectrum of hymnody composed especially for the Advent season.
Multiple sounds, colors and textures dance together on the liturgical canvas called Advent. The four-Sunday season historically emphasized the several “advents” of Christ (the remembered and often re-enacted nativity, the promised second coming, and ongoing revelations in our daily lives). This historical emphasis suggests that Advent is more than a time of preparation for Christmas. The season expresses the depths of human longing, its lectionary voices including sounds of festivity and praise while also echoing with minor chords of lament that stand in stark contrast to the lilting carols of many contemporary celebrations. Advent reminds us; both praise and lament are realities in human life. God in Christ entered and continues to enter every day both dimensions of human experience. Advent invites us to embody in actions of justice and care for others Christ’s transforming presence.
The new morning given birth through Christ’s “advent” stands at the center of the Advent season and characterizes our festival of lessons and carols. During Advent “a voice cries in the wilderness” (Mark 1:1-5), announcing the past, present, and future hope of God-with-us. The School of Divinity’s musical celebration this week invites our community melodically to join worshippers from across the centuries to seek and celebrate what a well-known Advent hymn based on the 8th Century O Antiphons seeks:
|O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer|
|Our spirits by thine advent here;|
|And drive away the shades of night,|
|And pierce the clouds and bring us light!|
|Emmanuel shall come thee, O Israel.|
As we sing this week to the rhythms and tones of music old and new, may we together incarnate anew a vision of hope in the living Word that comes to dwell with us.
|The last day of classes for the fall semester is December 9.|
|Reading Day is December 10.|
|Community Christmas Celebration is December 13.|
|Final Exams: December 12 – 17|
|Winter break: December 18, 2011 – January 13, 2012|
A note about course evaluations:
- Course evaluations are an important aspect of curriculum review and planning for future semesters. Students are encouraged to complete course evaluations for each of their courses. Evaluations can be completed through student WIN accounts. Students can access evaluations from December 5 through December 21. Faculty will have access to evaluation results beginning on December 22.
Blessings on your week,
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs