Sunday 17th December at 6.00 p.m.
Christmas has always been associated with the singing of Christmas Carols, and one of the favourite services in many churches is the traditional “Nine Lessons and Carols”. The service is so traditional that many people think it must have been part of the Church’s worship for hundreds of years. But the reality is a little different.
While it is true that the sacred songs which we call Christmas Carols have been sung for centuries, the service of Nine Lessons and Carols has a relatively recent history.
In 1878 the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported that the choir of Truro Cathedral would sing a service of carols at 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
“The Choir of the Cathedral will sing a number of carols in the Cathedral on Christmas Eve, the service commencing at 10pm. We understand that this is at the wish of many of the leading parishioners and others. A like service has been instituted in other cathedral and large towns, and has been much appreciated. It is the intention of the choir to no longer continue the custom of singing carols at the residences of members of the congregation.”
Two years later, Edward White Benson, at that time Bishop of Truro in Cornwall but later Archbishop of Canterbury, formalised the service with Nine Lessons for use at 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve (24 December) 1880. Over 400 people attended this first service.
The original form of the service has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the world. Lessons and Carols most often occur in Anglican churches. However, many Christian denominations have adopted this service, or a variation on this service, as part of their Christmas celebrations.
The best-known version is broadcast annually from King’s College, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve. It features carols sung by the famous Choir of King’s College.
Less well-known perhaps, but just as traditional, is the service held in St. Andrew’s Church, Kyrenia. This year’s Nine Lessons and Carols in St. Andrew’s will be held on Sunday 17th December at 6.00 p.m. All are very welcome to attend.
What on earth is a Reverse Advent Calendar?
You may well ask – as so many of us did!
Most people are familiar with the traditional Advent Calendar. It consists of some way to count down the days from 1st December to Christmas Day – perhaps with little doors which open each day or a felt Christmas decoration to put on a felt Christmas tree hanging on the wall. It’s even possible to buy a Lego calendar nowadays!
Sadly many of the calendars we find in the shops nowadays open on to little treats, such as chocolates or sweets, which make for an exciting time when you open the door – but do nothing for our waistline or our children’s teeth.
But a Canadian food writer, Julie Van Rosendaal, came up with the idea of a REVERSE Advent Calendar.
Reverse advent calendars work by you filling them every day with with items of food, gifts or toiletries which can then be used to help those less fortunate who are struggling at Christmas time.
After gathering helpful items all month, you can take everything you’ve saved to St. Andrew’s and know that you’ve given a Christmas present to someone who really needed it. Not only is this a fun thing to do together, from creating the advent calendar structure itself to picking the goodies to go in it, it brings home the importance of helping others and seeing the bigger picture at Christmas.
Items can be collected in a basket or a box or even plastic shopping bags. Just place one item in the container each day up until Christmas.
Please let the Chaplain, Secretary or Church Wardens at St. Andrew’s know if you’d like to contribute a Reverse Advent Calendar to be handed in to the church on Christmas Eve .
Sunday 3rd December 2017, Advent Sunday, marks the beginning of the Church’s New Year!
Advent, from the Latin meaning “coming”, is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus which we celebrate at Christmas.
Welcome to the first ever Scandinavian Christmas service in Kyrenia
Saturday 9th December at 4.00 pm
Priest: Anders Berglund / Ingvar Hindenes
Featuring the church choir from the Scandinavian church in Aya Napa
Everyone is welcome
The service will be held in Swedish/Norwegian
At the wonderful Choral Evensong service in St. Andrew’s, led by Cantate, the Girl Choristers and Choral Scholars of Portsmouth Cathedral, three beautiful new choir pews were dedicated by the Chaplain, the Revd Wendy Hough.
The pews were donated by Ian and Linda Smith to commemorate their Golden Wedding Anniversary.
The bespoke solid oak choir pews were made by local craftsman Mark Jehan in his Catalköy workshop.
Sincere thanks are extended to Ian and Linda, especially from the choir members, for this fine addition to the furnishings of St. Andrew’s, and to Mark and his staff for their outstanding craftsmanship.
Tuesday 24th October 2017 marked a very special evening of music in St. Andrew’s.
Cantate, the Girl Choristers and Choral Scholars of Portsmouth Cathedral, first enhanced the beautiful Anglican Office of Evening Prayer according to the Book of Common Prayer which took place in the church at 4.30pm using the musical responses by Bernard Rose. The Psalm for the evening was Psalm 121: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills; from whence cometh my help. Magnificat, (or Song of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and Nunc Dimittis (or the Song of Simeon) were to musical settings by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford in C. The Anthem was They that go down to the sea in ships by Herbert Sumsion, based on Psalm 107 vv 23-30.
As observed by St. Andrew’s Director of Music, Earl Moffitt, “Evensong was a great gift to us, with the inclusion of Psalm 121 and that beautiful anthem, so appropriate from Portsmouth and the link to here with the ancient shipwreck museum almost within touching distance of the church, bringing the ancient text right to our doorstep.”
The Chaplain, the Revd Wendy Hough, officiated at the Service, during which three magnificent oak choir pews were dedicated to commemorate the Golden Wedding anniversary of Ian and Linda Smith.
The choir were then royally entertained to a repast served in the Parish Hall before their next appearnce.
This took the form of a Concert in front of a packed audience at which the choir performed A new song by Sir James MacMillan with its inflections of Scottish folk music, Gaelic Psalmody and plainsong. This was followed by Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, a lovely set of evocative and beautifully haunting songs with words by George Herbert: Easter; I got me flowers; Love bade me welcome; The Call; Antiphon (Let all the world in every corner sing).
The Cathedral’s organ scholar Ben Banks played Ciacona in E Minor, B160, by Dietrich Buxtehude.
The choir sang Gabriel Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine which has all the emotional appeal and refined elegance that one associates with its composer. This was followed by Geistliches Lied, Op. 30 Lass dich nur nichts nicht dauren (Let no sad thought oppress thee) by Johannes Brahms and Ubi caritas by Ola Gjeilo, a piece with a sound at once modern and medieval.
The congregation joined the choir in singing the hymn Angel voices, ever singing, words by Francis Pott (1832-1909) to the eponymous tune written by E.G. Monk (1819-1900) during which an offering for St. Andrew’s Annual Music Week was received .
The Cathedral’s sub-organist Oliver Hancock then played Herbert Howells’ Psalm Preludes Set 1, No. 2.
The choir sang Howard Goodall’s Love divine, followed by O Nata Lux by Morten Lauridsen, a serene a cappella motet celebrating the Redeemer.
The Choral Scholars then sang Good Old Way, a traditional piece arranged by Oliver Tarney, and the Beatles’ Blackbird, arranged by Daryl Runswick.
The final piece was A hymn for St. Cecilia with words by Ursula Vaughan Williams and music by Herbert Howells.
All who attended were delighted at this group of young, talented people, ably led by their Director of Music Dr. David Price. Sincere thanks also to the tour organiser, Nicholas Speller.
During their short stay in Kyrenia the group visited and climbed to the top of Saint Hilarion Castle. We look forward to welcoming them all back at some time in the not-too-distant future to complete their “bag” of Kyrenia Castles by climbing Buffavento and Kantara!
November is a time of remembrance. Traditionally in the Church, All Saintstide (or All Hallowstide as it would have been called in times past) is a three-day season, or triduum, matching the more well-known Easter Triduum of the evening of Maundy Thursday to Easter Day.
All Saintstide comprises All Saints’ Eve (Halloween), All Saints’ Day (All Hallows’) and All Souls’ Day, which last from October 31 to November 2 annually.
In addition to this ancient tradition, in modern times, following the carnage of the First World War and subsequent conflicts, Remembrance Sunday, the Sunday closest to the 11th November, has been added to this season of remembrance.
So All Saintstide is a time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians.
Here in St. Andrew’s it has been the tradition over the last number of years to remember all those whom we have loved and lost at a special service of remembrance on All Souls’ Day, 2nd November.
This year’s service will take place on Thursday 2nd November at 2.00 pm in St. Andrew’s.
At the service we give thanks for the deceased, recently as well as in the past. The names of those whom we love but see no longer are written on our “Remembering Tree” and gathered up during the service when the names are read out and commended to God’s love and safe keeping.
We bury the leaves in the ground one week after the service.
Paper leaves to write on the names of those whom we wish to remember will be available in church from 22nd October.
Please do encourage those who, although they may not be church goers, would like to remember their loved ones in this special way.