Special Musical Events 2017 

Lessons & Carols December 15 at 7pm


Lessons & Carols
A Living Narrative

By Michael Diorio

Every year around the end of October the choirs of The Redeemer begin rehearsing music for the service of Nine Lessons & Carols, held on Advent III. The core of the service is focused around nine readings with music selected to serve as a complement to each lesson, helping to further underscore a message or illumine a deeper understanding of the texts. 
At The Redeemer, our service structure is based upon the liturgy traditionally offered at King’s College, Cambridge. For the readings, we rely upon the beauty of the older language—so rarely offered—from the 1611 King James Bible. Traditionally, the music is Anglican in origin, ranging from ancient melodies to modern compositions and arrangements: however, in recent years, Redeemer has incorporated broader traditions of choral expression.
Of the Service of Nine Lessons & Carols, Dean White remarked “the pattern and strength of the service is derived from the lessons and not the music.....the main theme is the development of the loving purposes of God seen through the windows and words of the Bible.”
Lessons and Carols places us in the middle of the narrative surrounding the mystery of the Incarnation. As God’s people we are not mere spectators in this service but active participants in the greater story of “the loving purposes of God.” We are brought into the Garden of Eden, the site of original sin. We are reminded of the promises made by God in the Old Testament, which bless the countless generations of those who followed. Ultimately, at its heart, the service emphasizes God’s love for his creation. 
In today’s political and social climate, narratives can turn on a dime. This narrative, however, the one we sing, and celebrate, and upon which we graft our faith, has not changed for over two thousand years. The readings within the Lessons and Carols Service remind us all of our fall from grace, but more importantly, of the abundance of that grace offered to us by a loving and redeeming God. 
Join us on December 15 at 7 PM to celebrate this service at The Redeemer. It is a perfect time to invite family and friends into our church and enjoy the fellowship and the reception that follows in the Parish House Annex.
Though admission is free, all proceeds from the free-will offering go to the Margaret Orr Memorial Choral Scholarship at The Redeemer. This scholarship was established in 2012 by the family & friends of long-time chorister, Margaret Orr. This fund exists to benefit the choristers involved in Music at The Redeemer whose financial needs have a direct bearing on their involvement with our musical outreach and learning activities. 

Annelies-ad-2A Timely Musical Offering
The First Choral Setting of the Diary of Anne Frank

By Michael Diorio

As 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the choirs of Church of the Redeemer will perform a work entitled Annelies, by James Whitbourn. This composition is the first adaptation of selections from the diary of Anne Frank in a large-scale choral work. The chamber version of this oratorio is scored for chorus, soprano solo, clarinet, violin, cello and piano.

We will offer this work twice: first at Church of the Redeemer at 7:30pm on Friday, March 20 and again at Main Line Reform Temple at 7:30pm on Saturday, March 21.

Critically acclaimed soprano Arianna Zukerman will be accompanied by the famed Lincoln Trio, all of whom are Grammy nominated musicians. Michael Diorio will lead the choirs of Church of the Redeemer and conduct the performances.

The Holocaust was the methodical implementation of unprecedented evil, devastating the Jewish community  and challenging the goodness of humanity. By performing this work in both a Christian and Jewish place of worship, we hope to connect faith communities and foster a sense of ecumenical resolve and unity. This work connects the memory of the unspeakable to a resilient hope for tolerance and understanding.

The performances of this work, in two houses of worship, will be timely on multiple levels, given the recent attacks on places of worship and the hatred they reflect. The words and music of Annelies transcend the boundaries of religious difference, speaking beyond dogma and forming an expression of the persistence of the divine.

The text is unadorned. The words are simple, originating from a young girl with a unique view of the world: the reality of what was and the hope of what could be. Anne Frank’s own words set to song, bridge the gap of time and generations, allowing us to understand the universality of her message.

Be sure to place this very special offering on your calendars and join us in March.

If you would like to learn about the ways in which you can help with project funding, or for more information please contact Dr. Michael Diorio, Organist & Director of Music.

Second Sunday Evensongs

By Michael Diorio

This season will feature a new offering for evening worship. Beginning in October, and continuing through the program year, we will hold Choral Evensong at 5pm on the second Sunday of each month. This service will be in addition to our regular Sunday worship schedule, and will feature a rotation of our various choral ensembles at The Redeemer. 
It is our hope that our Evensongs will not only offer a meaningful supplement to our morning services, but will also provide a convenient time for families who are unable to attend the morning service to still experience The Redeemer, amidst our families’ densely scheduled weekends.  
Evensong is part of the Daily Office, the late-day counterpart to Morning Prayer. It is a non-Eucharistic choral service that offers hymnody, psalms, lessons appointed for the evening, choral canticles and anthems.  This service is also ideal for those who would like to experience the fullness of a Sunday liturgical expression without encountering repetition, as the readings and music for Evening prayer are entirely different from those appointed for the morning. 
The Redeemer in the evening is a totally different experience; the church space presages a hallowed experience. The lighting, the spaces, and the stillness of the sanctuary all beckon us to experience a deeper awareness of the sacred.  We hope that you will choose to attend a few or ALL of the following Choral Evensongs. 
These Evensongs are in addition to our services for both All Souls and Lessons & Carols.