The featured work for the Lapeer County Concert Choir’s upcoming fall concert, Bound for Bethlehem,” is John Rutter’s Joy to the World: A Collection of Fifteen Christmas Hymns and Carols.
The Christmas hymns and carols arranged by John Rutter represent many countries with ties to western European music tradition. The Lapeer County Concert Choir’s presentation of this Rutter collection will be in the form of an abbreviated service of lessons and carols.
The service of lessons and carols’ an English tradition has its early beginnings in an 1880 Christmas Eve service held in a primitive wooden shed in Truro, a city in Cornwall, England. After World War I in December of 1918, on Christmas Eve, King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England presented its first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. This service of nine scripture readings and Christmas carols is centered around the themes of man’s fall from grace, the promise of a Messiah, the Great Incarnation, and the Great Commission to preach the Good News.
King’s College has continued its Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols without interruption, even through World War II, to the present. Each Christmas Eve millions of people from around the world watch this service.
Our concert today will present a shortened service of lessons and carols focusing on the Great Incarnation, the birth of Jesus Christ.