Nine Lessons and carols featured at Trinity Episcopal Church

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Friday, December 20, 2013

JANESVILLE—The holidays are a season of rush, extravagant decorations and colorful lights. 

We love them, but they can get to be too much.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, Trinity Episcopal Church, 409 East Court St., Janesville,  is offering an antidote to the season with a service of “Nine Lessons and Carols.” Everyone is invited.

The hour-long service alternatives between music and reading from the Bible and is designed to be both joyful and reflective, said Thelma Wilcox, director of music at Trinity.

Many people are familiar with the service because of the annual Christmas Eve broadcast from King's College in Oxford.

The church starts in darkness, and is slowly lit by candles held by people in the pews.

The opening hymn is a solo soprano singing “Once in Royal David's City.”

The “lessons” are readings from the Bible.

“The Old Testament readings start with the fall of Adam and go through Isaiah, who foretold the coming of the Messiah” said Wilcox. “The Christmas story is the traditional one from St. Luke, and we close with a reading from St. John that tells us about the impact this has on us.”

The carols include traditional Christmas hymns song by the whole congregation, and  works for the choir alone.

At Trinity, the choir will be accompanied by organ, a string quartet and, for one song, guitar and percussion.

“It's a very reflective service, very peaceful and quiet,” Wilcox said. “This is the thing that seems to attract people to it—they come and find rest.”

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