Desiree Flores, soloist  •  Peter L. Bates, organist

Christmas Fantasia arr. by Mark Thallander and Bruce Wilkin; (Based on the Carols: “Adeste Fideles” and “Mendelssohn”, also incorporating portions of J. S. Bach’s “Prelude in G Major”, BWV 625)

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing [Mendelssohn]  by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”  Joyful all ye nations rise; join the triumph of the skies; with angelic hosts proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”  Hark!  The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, offspring of the virgin’s womb.  Veiled in flesh the God-head see; hail incarnate deity, pleased as man with us to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel!  Hark!  The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”  

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the sun of righteousness!  Light and life to all he brings, ris’n with healing in his wings.  Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die, born to raise each child of earth, born to give us second birth.  Hark!  The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!” [Charles Wesley]

Carol-Prelude on “Bring a Torch“ by David H. Williams (b. 1919); (For text, see hymn below)

 Hymn:  Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella – a 17th Century French Carol

Bring a torch, Jeannette, Isabella, bring a torch, to the cradle run!  It is Jesus, good folk of the village, Christ is born and Mary’s calling:  Ah! Ah! Beautiful is the mother, Ah! Ah! Beautiful is her Son!

It is wrong when the Child is sleeping, it is wrong to talk so loud; silence, all, as you gather around, Lest your noise should waken Jesus:  Hush! Hush! See how fast He slumbers; Hush! Hush! See how fast He sleeps.

Softly to the little stable, softly for a moment come; look and see how charming is Jesus, how He is warm, his cheeks are rosy.  Hush!  Hush!  See how the Child is sleeping; Hush!  Hush!  See how He smiles in dreams.  [Tr. E. Cuthbert Nunn]

Theme and Variations on Noël Nouvelet by Michael Burkhardt (b. 1957); (For text, see hymn below)

Hymn:  Sing We Now of Christmas – a 15th Century French Carol

Sing we now of Christmas, Noel, sing we here!  Hear our grateful praises to the Babe so dear.  Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel!  Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!

From the eastern kingdoms, come the wise men far, bearing ancient treasure, following yonder star.  Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel!  Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!

Come, let us surround Him on this glorious night.  Gather here around Him – wondrous Babe of light.  Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel!  Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!

Carillon on a Ukranian Bell Carol by Gerald Near (b. 1942)

O Little Town of Bethlehem [St. Louis] by Lewis Henry Redner (1831-1908)

O Little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!  Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.  Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.  We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us; abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel! [Phillips Brooks]

The Holy Boy (A Carol of the Nativity-1913/1918) by John Ireland (1879-1962)

Lowly, laid in a manger, with oxen brooding nigh, the Heavenly Babe is lying, his Maiden Mother by.  Lo!  The wayfaring sages, who journeyed far through the wild, now worship, silent adoring, the Boy, the Heavenly Child.  Leave your work and your playtime, and kneel in homage and prayer, the Prince of Love is smiling asleep in his cradle there!  Bend your hearts to the wonder, the Birth, the Mystery mild, and worship, silent adoring, the Boy, the Heavenly Child.  the light of the lantern, and bare the mean abode, yet gold and myrrh and incense proclaim the Son of God.  Lowly laid in a manger by Virgin undefiled, come worship, silent, adoring, the Boy, the Heavenly Child! [Herbert S. Brown, 1938]

Angels We Have Heard on High [Gloria] – a 19th Century French Carol

Women:  Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains, and the mountains in reply, echoing their joyous strains.

All:  Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Men:  Shepherds, why this jubilee?  Why your joyous strains prolong?  What the gladsome tidings be which inspire your heavenly song?

All:  Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo!

All:  Come to Bethlehem and see Him whose birth the angels sing; come, adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, the newborn King.  Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo! [French Carol; tr. James Chadwick]

Two Settings of “In dulci jubilo”; (For text, see hymn below)

  • In Quiet Joy (from: 79 Chorale Preludes) by Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)
  • Fantasia (BWV 729)  by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Good Christian Friends, Rejoice [In dulci jubilo] – a 14th Century German folk melody

Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice; give ye heed to what we say:  Jesus Christ is born today; ox and ass before him bow, and he is in the manger now.  Christ is born today! Christ is born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice; now ye hear of endless bliss:  Jesus Christ was born for this!  He has opened heaven’s door, and we are blest forevermore.  Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice; now ye need not fear the grave:  Jesus Christ was born to save!  Calls you one and calls you all to gain the everlasting hall.  Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!  [Medieval Latin; tr. and paraphrased by John Mason Neale]

Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248)  19. Slumber Beloved by J. S. Bach; Desiree Flores, mezzo-soprano

Slumber, beloved, and take Thy repose, soon wilt Thou waken, our joy and salvation.  O!  May Thy breast find gladness and rest in our heartfelt exultation. [Translated: Rev. J. Troutbeck, D.D.]

Where Shepherds Lately Knelt (Manger Song)  arr. by David Sims (b.1983)

Hymn 115: Away in a Manger [Mueller] by James R. Murray (1841-1905)

Away in a manger, no crib for his bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.  The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing; the poor baby wakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.  I love thee, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky, and stay by my side until morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay close by me forever and love me, I pray.  Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.  [Little Children’s Book for Schools and Families]

Weinachten – 1914 (Opus 145, No. 3) by Max Reger (1873-1916)

Silent Night, Holy Night! [Stille Nacht] by Franz Xaver Gruber (1787-1863)

Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright ‘round yon virgin mother and child! Holy infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight; glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing “Alleluia:  Christ the Savior is born; Christ the Savior is born!”

Silent night, holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light radiant beams from thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth. [Joseph Mohr, 1818; tr. John Young]

Toccata on “Antioch” arr. by Craig Phillips (b. 1961); (For text, see hymn below)

Joy to the World [Antioch] Attr. Handel/arr. by Lowell Mason (1792-1872)

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her king; let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground, He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love, and wonders, and wonders of his love. [Isaac Watts]

Merry Christmas!  We hope you have enjoyed hearing and singing these beloved carols today.

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