This past Thursday (3rd of December) UPCaM and Newman Catholic Campus Ministries combined efforts to hold an Advent service of lessons and carols. In the evening the day before classes ended, the service was held in Amasa Stone Chapel. The service included seven lessons from the prophets, and the story of Christ’s birth and epiphany. Also showcased were seven of Case Western’s musicians, Case’s gospel choir, Voices of Glory, as well as a number of students as lectors. Welcomes, prayers, blessings in the service were offered by Newman leader, Sharon Bramante, SCC (Students at Church of the Covenant) leader, Eileen Vizcaino, UPCaM leader, Barbara Essex, and Intervarsity leader, Ken Nakajima. The service concluded with a fellowship of cookies and hot chocolate in the rear of the chapel.
Beautiful renditions of “Mary Did you Know?,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “What Child is This?,” “The First Noel,” and “Christmas Time is Here” were performed by Courtlen Oates (piano), Zachary Myones (clarinet) & Lindsay Furtado (clarinet), Anna Kohler (violin) & Vincenzo Volpe (flute), Marion Schuman (viola) & Katie Buerger (cello), and Courtlen Oates. Grace Olivier and Maritess Escueta led the congregation in such traditional carols as “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “O Holy Night,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “Joy to the World” while accompanied by Katie Buerger, Lindsay Furtado, Anna Kohler, Zachary Myones (bass clarinet), Marion Schuman, and Vincenzo Volpe.
Although attendance was low (2 students and 3 community members outside of those directly participating in the service, who were about twenty in number), the music and shared joy made the service all the more valuable. A number of those in the congregation were deeply moved by some of the carols –– almost to the point of tearing up. Voices of Glory shared several beautiful pieces sung acapella from the steps of the altar. For the final carol, the congregation lit and held candles as everyone sang the conclusion of the service, “Joy to the World.” While some may have been disappointed by the low attendance at the service, it only made the whole event more intimate as everyone worked together to be a part of something special.
Sources: Photo credit given to Barbara Essex, via Facebook
This blog is written by me, Katie Buerger (unless noted otherwise) and maintained by UPCaM@Case. I am a current sophomore at CWRU, and have been an UPCaM member since my first year. Because I am Spiritual Potpourri’s exclusive writer, this means the opinions and perspectives given in blog posts are limited to my views. I think myself to be open-minded, but I am human. I do research my topics (all the sources are listed at the bottom of each post), but I ultimately can only write from my perspective as a Christian. I try to write to a general audience (not exclusively to Christians), but I do at times make assumptions about the knowledge of my readers. However, I would like to assert that my views are not representative of UPCaM’s or Christianity’s – they are mine alone.