Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ

Trinity Cathedral Choir Offers Advent Lessons and Carols at St. Mary’s Blair

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Deacon Ellen Ross, Fr. John Symonds, and Dean Craig Loya in procession


Trinity Cathedral Choir Offers Advent Lessons and Carols at St. Mary’s Blair

The Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Choir offered an Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols Sunday, December 15th at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Blair, Nebraska. Led by Trinity’s director of music, Dr. Marty Wheeler Burnett, the 25-member choir also boasted the accompaniment of organist Ed Hurd and horn player Larry Siegler. Following a welcome and bidding prayer by St. Mary’s rector, the Reverend John Symonds, a total of six biblical lessons–ranging from The Book of Genesis, a number of prophets from the Old Testament, and a reading from the Gospel of Luke–were paired with wonderful choral pieces. St. Mary’s parishioners Mabel Aronson, Pat Steinke, Helen Wilson, Iantha Wessel, Bob Liberty, and Sharen Lemen served as lectors for the service.

More than forty worshippers comprised of both St. Mary’s parishioners and members of the public heard pieces such as: “Comfort, Comfort Now My People” (melody from Genevan Psalter, 1551, arr. Richard Proulx; “Lo, In the Time Appointed” (Healy Willan); “Prepare the Way, O Zion” (arr. Robert Lau); and “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” (Paul Manz). Three hymns from The Hymnal 1982, the authoritative Episcopal hymnal, “Lo, he comes, with clouds descending” (Helmsley); “O come, O come, Emmanuel”; and “Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord” (Birmingham) were performed by both the Trinity Choir and the congregation. Dr. Burnett’s conducting of the choir and hand bells was enjoyed immensely by the congregation.

Trinity Cathedral’s new dean and rector, the Very Reverend Craig Loya gave his heartfelt thanks to St. Mary’s Church for the invitation of the performance of their choir. Dean Loya also spread the good news that, within the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, although there may be fifty-three distinct Episcopal parishes, there remains only one church. He said Trinity was honored to share the gifts of diocese’s cathedral with the gracious people of St. Mary’s. The Reverend Deacon Ellen Ross of Trinity’s clergy staff participated in the Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols along with Dean Loya and the cathedral choir. Following a closing Advent blessing, all worshipers and choristers shared in a reception offered by St. Mary’s senior warden Mrs. Lynda Will and parishioners Mark and Cindi Card and Jack and Sandy Schneider.


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St. Mary’s members and friends from Blair and the surrounding area enjoyed the festival service


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Dr. Marty Wheeler Burnett conducting the Trinity Cathedral Choir


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