Lessons and Carols Evening Service

Westworth United Church

Lessons and Carols

December 10, 2017     7:00pm


Our service will proceed unannounced, as indicated in the bulletin.


Welcome                                                              Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd


Opening Prayer


A Ceremony of Carols                                Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)


Hodie Christus natus est: (Today Christ is born)

Hodie Salvator apparuit: (Today the Savior appears)

Hodie in terra canunt angeli (Today on earth the angels sing)

Laetantur archangeli: (The archangels rejoice)

Hodie exultant justi (Today it is right to give praise)

Dicentes (Proclaiming) Gloria in excelsis Deo. Allelluia.


WOLCUM YOLE!                                                                                                               Text: Anon., 14th century

Wolcum (Welcome) be thou hevenè king. Wolcum Yole (Yule)!

Wolcum, born in one morning. Wolcum for whom we sall sing!

Wolcum, be ye Stevene and Jon/Innocentes every one/Thomas marter one.

Wolcum be ye, good Newe Yere/Twelfthe Day both/seintes lefe (left) and dere.

Wolcum Yole!  Candelmess (Candle Mass), Quene of bliss.

Wolcum both to more and less.

Wolcum be ye that are here. Wolcum alle and make good cheer.

Wolcum alle another yere. Wolcume Yole!


THERE IS NO ROSE                          Text: Anon., 14th century

There is no rose of such vertu (virtue) as is the rose that bare Jesu. Alleluia!

For in this rose contained was heaven and earth in littel space.

Res miranda. (Miraculous thing.)

By this rose we may well see there be one God in persons three.

Pares forma. (Created in the Parent’s image.)

The angels sungen the shepherds to: Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Gaudeamus. (We rejoice.)

Leave we all this werdly mirth, and follow we this joyful birth.

Transeamus. (We are transformed.)


THAT YONGË CHILD                      Text: Anon., 14th century

                        Soloist: Christina Thanisch-Smith

That yongë child when it gan weep, with song she lulled him asleep.

It was so sweet a melody it passèd alle minstrelsy.

The nightingale sang also: Her song is hoarse and nought thereto:

Whoso attendeth to her song and leaveth the first: then doth he wrong.

BALULALOW                Text: James, John and Robert Wedderburn, (1548), 1561

                        Soloist: Christina Thanisch-Smith

O my deare hert, young  Jesu sweit (sweet),

Prepare thy creddil (cradle) in my spreit (spirit),

And I sall (shall) rock thee to my hert (heart). And nevermair from thee depart.

But I sall praise thee evermoir with sanges (songs) sweit unto thy gloir (glory):

The knees of my hert sall I bow,  And sing that richt Balulalow (Lullabye).


AS DEW IN APRILLE                       Text: Anon., circa 1400

I sing of a maiden that is makelèss (unblemished):

King of all kings to her son she ches (chose).

He came al so stille. There his moder (mother) was,

As dew in Aprille that falleth on the grass.

He came al so stille to his moder’s bour (bower),

As dew in Aprille that falleth on the flour (flower).

He came al so stille. There his moder lay,

As dew in Aprille that falleth on the spray.

Moder and mayden (maiden) was never none but she:

Well may such a lady Goddes moder be.


THIS LITTLE BABE                          Text: Robert Southwell (1561? – 1595)

This little Babe so few days old, is come to rifle Satan’s fold:

All hell doth at his presence quake, though he himself with cold do shake;

For in this weak unarmèd wise, the gates of hell he will surprise.

With tears he fights and wins the field, his naked breast stands for a shield:

His battering shot are babish cries, his arrows looks of weeping eyes,

His martial ensigns Cold and Need, and feeble Flesh his warrior’s steed.

His camp is pitched in a stall, his bulwark but a broken wall;

The crib his trench, haystacks his stakes; of shepherds he his muster makes.

And thus as sure his foe to wound, the angels’ trumps alarum sound.

My soul, with Christ join thou in fight; Stick to the tents that he hath pight.

Within his crib is surest ward; this little Babe will be they guard. If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy, then flit not from this heavenly Boy.





Soloists: Christina Thanisch-Smith and Paula Potosky

Behold, a silly tender babe, in freezing winter night,

In homely manger trembling lies. Alas, a piteous sight.

The inns are full; no man will yield this little pilgrim bed.

But forced he is with silly beasts in crib to shroud his head.

This stable is a Prince’s court, this crib his chair of State;

The beasts are parcel of his pomp, the wooden dish his plate.

The persons in that poor attire his royal liveries wear;

The Prince himself is come from heav’n; this pomp is prized there.

With joy approach, O Christian wight, do homage to thy King.

And highly praise his humble pomp which he from Heav’n doth bring


SPRING CAROL                                   Text: William Cornish (14? – 1523)

                        Soloists: Christina Thanisch-Smith and Paula Potosky

Pleasur it is to hear iwis (certainly) the Birdès sing,

The deer in the dale, the sheep in the vale, the corn springing.

God’s purvayance for sustenance. It is for man.

Then we always to give him praise, and thank him than.


DEO GRACIAS                                      Text: Anon., 15th century

Deo gracias! (Thanks be to God)

Adam lay ibounden (bound up) in a bond;

Four thousand winter thought he not to long.

And all was for an appil that he tok (took),

As clerkès finden written in their book.

Ne had the appil takè ben,

Ne haddè never our lady a ben hevenè queen (been heavenly queen),

Blessed be the time that appil takè was,

Therefore we moun (must) singen,

Deo gracias!



Offertory: “The Angel Gabriel”                         Noel Rawsthorne

Dedication Hymn: VU 55 “In the Bleak Midwinter” v. 4

Offertory Prayer


The Lessons


First Lesson:  Isaiah 9: 2,6 and 7                                    Petra Thanisch

(The prophet Isaiah foretells Christ’s birth)


Hymn:   VU 54  “Unto Us a Boy is Born”,v.1,2,4      PUER NOBIS NASCITUR


Second Lesson:  Isaiah 11:1-9                                              Earl Gould

(The branch of Jesse)


Hymn:   VU 8   “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”             EIN IST EIN’ ROS


Third Lesson:  Isaiah 40:1-8                                             Kathy Wilson

(The Prophet Isaiah speaks words of comfort to Israel)


Hymn:   VU 18   “There’s a Voice in the Wilderness”           ASCENSION


Fourth  Lesson: Jeremiah 23:5-6, 31:31-34                     Denise Jones

(The prophesy of a New Covenant and High Priest)


Hymn: VU 17       “O Ancient Love”                                  BEDFORD ABBEY


Fifth Lesson:   Baruch 4:30,36,37 and 5:7-9                         Will Firth

(Jerusalem is Assured of Help)


Hymn: VU 9         “People, Look East”                                    BESANCON


Sixth Lesson:  Micah 5:2-4                                                Elaine Pigden

(The prophet Micah foretells the glory of little Bethlehem)


Hymn: VU 64       “O Little Town of Bethlehem”               FOREST GREEN


Seventh Lesson: Luke 1: 26-38                                            Paul Chard

(The angel Gabriel visits Mary)


Hymn: VU 74   “What Child is This?”                                 GREENSLEEVES


Eighth Lesson: Luke 2:1-7                                                    Tom Dunn

(Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem)


Cherub Choir:  “Starlight”                                     Sally and Jean Althouse


Ninth Lesson: John 1: 1-14                          Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd

(John unfolds the great mystery)


Hymn:  VU 60O Come All Ye Faithful”                         ADESTE FIDELIS


Postlude:      “People, Look East”                                  Kristina Langlois


Please Note:

You are kindly asked not to take photos or to use

recording devices during the service.

Thank you.



PROGRAM NOTES FOR “A CEREMONY OF CAROLS”                              by Debbie McLeod

Ironically, the idea for this stunning work was conceived under miserable circumstances. In 1942 Britten was returning to England from America upon a hot, noisy and very smelly cargo vessel. The Atlantic was riddled with German U-boats, making the voyage even more nerve-wracking. Britten’s saving grace was a book of medieval poetry he had purchased when the ship made an initial stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He also had two manuals on harp-playing, which had been given to him by someone commissioning a work for the harp.  By the end of the voyage, much of “A Ceremony of Carols” was completed, drawing its inspiration from these two unlikely sources. As Britten wryly observed: “…one had to alleviate the boredom!” 

Though the ancient words and Britten’s music are separated by centuries, they are brilliantly fused. Spelling and grammar vary from song to song, depending on the century from which its words originated. The Ceremony begins with the choristers singing the Christmas plainsong “Hodie Christus est” (“Today, Christ is born”). This plainsong also ends the Ceremony, and its melody is included in the middle of the Ceremony as a harp interlude. Between these three structural focal points, there are nine carols, some entirely separate in mood, others leading naturally to the next, some chordal, others contrapuntal, with immense variety in melodic inspiration and scoring.


Accompanist & Organist                                                                     Dorcas Windsor

Harpist                                                                                                         Richard Turner

Conductor, Cherub Choir                                                             Jewel Casselman

Director of Music                                                                               Debbie McLeod

Guest Choir                                                                                              Vocal Ascent

Minister                                                                            Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd

Usher                                                                                                           Janet Sealey

Hosts                                                                                     Barb and Kent Magarrell


Thank you for joining us in worship and reflection this evening! We extend a special thank you to Richard Turner, Principal Harpist for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and also to the singers of Vocal Ascent, our guest choir.

Thank you also for your ongoing support of the music program at Westworth United Church. Tonight’s offering will be divided equally to support our Choral Scholars and Westworth’s General Fund.

Please join us immediately following tonight’s service in the lower hall for refreshments and conversation. Special thanks are extended to Westworth’s Fellowship Committee for hosting this reception.

The musicians at Westworth wish you a blessed and peace-filled Christmas.



All are welcome to our Christmas Services


Christmas Eve


Worship with Children’s Pageant with Senior and Cherub Choirs

9:00 p.m.

Carols, Candles and Communion

With Senior Choir


Worship Around the Breakfast Table

Dec. 31, 2017 in the Gym

10:30 a.m.         11 a.m.

Breakfast                Worship

Sharing our Christmas traditions & favourite carols


Christmas Office Hours

            Dec. 25 – Jan. 1 – office will be closed

Donations should be received before Dec. 31, 2017 to be tax receiptable for 2017.  Please consider a post-dated cheque to ensure donations get here on time. Thank you.


Looking ahead

2018 Lenten Study:  Buddhist-Christian Lenten Study, Monday evenings starting Feb. 26.

During the season of Epiphany, Jan.-Feb. 2018, our Worship Services will focus on the United Church’s most recent faith statement entitled “Song of Faith”. We hope to inspire everyone as we learn how to put our beliefs into practice.



The Staff of Westworth United Church

Wish you and your loved ones

A very blessed Christmas and

A Happy New Year!