A great start to our Christmas journey with a beautiful “Once in Royal” solo from choral scholar Rebecca, and 9 Lessons and Carols in 63 minutes, including the 19th century Yorkshire pub carol version of “While shepherds watched” by Foster.
In God’s Grand Design, His Son Jesus was born in an Extension of the local pub in Bethlehem, and we extend a warm inclusive welcome to you to join us at St Michael’s over the Christmas season, as we celebrate the birth of the Christ-child, in whom God mends the gap between humanity and holiness.
Thursday 18th Dec, 7.30pm at St Michael’s. A traditional Service of Nine Lessons & Carols. Hymns, Carols, Bidding Prayer and Readings telling the great story from Adam & Eve to Mary, Joseph and Jesus, the Shepherds and the Magi.
Saturday 20th Dec, 7.30pm. Exeter Chorale visit with a Concert of Christmas Music from 17th Century Venice & Saxony. The exciting sound of 8-part singing, recorders and strings will echo around St Michael’s. And the Christmas Story will be re-told to the music of Heinrich Schutz, with guest soloist, Tony Yates, from Topsham. Tickets £7.50 on the door, including refreshments.
Sunday 21st Dec, Advent IV, 10.45am Mass. The Readings concentrate on Mary, and the choir’s music goes European. Setting: Missa “Dixit Maria”, Hans Leo Hassler. Motet: Hymne a la Vierge, Villette.
Sunday 21st Dec, St Michael’s Choir is delighted to have the opportunity to go Carolling at Killerton House. We will be entertaining visitors to this National Trust property in the Music Room with Carols, old and new, from 2pm to 4pm. Supporters welcome.
Wednesday 24th December, Christmas Eve, 11.30pm Mass. Preceded by Carols from the Gallery at 11pm. Setting: Missa “O magnum mysterium”, Victoria. Motet: A babe is born, I wys, Anon.
If someone said on Christmas Eve, “Come; see the oxen kneel.” I should go with him in the gloom, Hoping it might be so. Thomas Hardy, The Oxen, Christmas Eve 1915.
Thursday 25th December, Christmas Day, N.B. 10.30am Mass. Setting: Mass in C & F, C V Stanford. Motet: O little one sweet, J S Bach.
On Friday 26th, the Feast of St Stephen, and Saturday 27th, St John the Evangelist, Low Mass will be said at 10am, but those who sing 6pm Vespers will have a well-deserved rest until Tuesday 6th January Vespers for Epiphany.
Sunday 28th Dec, The Holy Innocents, 10.45am Mass. Setting: Missa L’Hora Passa, Viadana. Motet: The Coventry Carol, Trad. Whether the killing of infants in Bethlehem by King Herod is fact or myth, the Church and the World have continued to abuse and hurt the innocent and childlike for too long, and caused women to grieve. Only the just and gentle rule of Jesus Christ can give us hope.
Sunday 4th January 2015, Christmas II, 10.45am Sung Mass.
The Recitals @ St Michael’s Series is re-launched in 2015 with a monthly Friday Evening slot. Friday 9th January at 7.30pm will feature Eleanor Little and Ralf Ayling-Miller, the winners of our Young Organists’ Competition, so that promises to be a splendid start to the New Year. Admission £5 (£3).
The St Michael’s Lectures for 2015 commence on Wed 28th Jan with Dr Nigel Browne giving an Illustrated History of Church Music in Devon, featuring West Gallery Musicians and the St Michael’s Choir.
Wishing you a joyful Christmas and a peaceful New Year from all at St Michael’s.
P.S. The Church of England in her wisdom has extended the office of bishop to women as well as men, and has announced Revd Libby Lane to become suffragan Bishop of Stockport, in succession to our Bishop Robert Atwell; we pray for her. People holding both (all?) views on this issue worship together at St Michael’s.
Speaking personally, I welcome this, not as a new era but a natural extension; a matter of wholeness rather than equality; the result, not so much of 40 years of lobbying, but of 150 years of development since our Anglo-Catholic forefathers founded convents and colleges so that their daughters could have education, independence and as full a religious life as Victorian constraints allowed. And I think many of them will be rejoicing too. RB.