October 20, 2015

St Mark plans ahead

xmas baby

St Mark’s Remuera is thinking Christmas and has well in place its plans for celebratory Services. Brian Millar, Director of Music, reports that the church’s Advent Service titled “Come Holy Child” will be on Sunday 6 December at 7.30pm. Knowledgable church goers will notice this is the 2nd Sunday of Advent but clergy advise this is actually OK. An advantage is that St Mark’s participants wishing to be in the congregation for an Advent Service can do so in any of the many other churches celebrating on the 1st Sunday of Advent (two bites of the cherry as it were).

Brian is hoping to repeat last year’s wonderful 6.00pm Carols-on-the-Lawn event on Friday 18th December as a precursor to St Mark’s Nine Lessons and Carols Service on Sunday 20 December at 7.30pm.


Brian shares interesting features of the Advent service: his own SATB arrangement of “Come Christmas Child” – words Shirley Murray, music Jillian Bray. Also: Rorate Coeli (Introit for Advent IV); music by Samuel Webbe. For Nine Lessons perhaps the most interesting music will be an SATB version of “While shepherds watched their flocks by night – Sweet Chiming Bells.” Apparently there’s a bit of a revival currently in the UK of Christmas carols that in Victorian times were considered too exuberant or jolly to actually be sung in churches! The carols were still being sung, but in pubs and large family gatherings; and there was a geographical flavour to some of them, with local versions. This version is from Sheffield; Brian transcribed it rather laboriously from listening to a You Tube version, listening to it repeatedly and hoping he got the nuances as close as possible to the original.