Church to teach ‘musical’ Christmas lessons

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 18, 2009

First Presbyterian Church choir director Angie Sasser is also a science teacher at Andalusia High School, but tonight she and her choir will teach a different kind of “lessons.”

The FPC will host its special “Service of Lessons and Carols” tonight at 6:30 at the church on South Three Notch Street. The service will be approximately 45 minutes long and touch on a variety of Christmas themes and Scriptures.

“This is the second year we have done this special service, and it was well-received last year,” Sasser said. “We’re going to have five readers for the five different ‘lessons.’ Each lesson will start with a Scripture reading, and then the choir will lead the congregation with a few hymns that relate to that reading, and then there will be some kind of special music or solo.”

For example, the first lesson “Advent: The Promise,” will include the hymns of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” and “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.” The Scriptures will include excerpts from Psalm 132 (God promising that a descendant of David will be the King of Man), Isaiah 9 (A child will be born and he will be called “Wonderful Counselor” and “Prince of Peace”), and Luke 1 (Gabriel proclaims to Mary that she will be the mother of God’s Son).

The FPC choir will lead most of the music, but the First United Methodist Church choir will also join in “An Advent Credo.”

“We have a lot of talent here at our church,” Sasser said. “Some are great readers; some are great singers — this is a great way that we can get as many people involved in our service.”

There will be refreshments following the service. Sasser said all are welcome to attend the service, regardless of denomination.

“We just thought this would be a unique way to get everyone in the Christmas spirit,” she said.

Choir member Ronda Ricks added that the service will be a great “reminder” of the true meaning of Christmas.

“It’s always good to have a visible reminder of the story of Christ’s birth and its importance to the Christmas season,” she said.

The FPC will also present its Christmas cantata “Classic Noels” on Sunday at 11 a.m., featuring the Penny Shenkel Orchestra from Pensacola, Fla. The church’s Christmas Eve service will be Thurs., Dec. 24, at 5:30 p.m.