“Come now, O Prince of Peace, make us one body.
Come, O Lord Jesus, reconcile your people.”
The annual Advent/Christmas concert at Grace at 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 16, focuses on the theme of peace. “As we celebrate the gift of the Christ Child during this season, we do so in a world desperately crying out for the redemption that God will ultimately bring on the Last Day,” writes Pastor Michael Costello in a program note. “We pray for the return of the one who is named Prince of Peace.”
The concert includes Pastor Costello’s setting of the prayer attributed to Francis of Assisi “Lord, Make Us Instruments of Your Peace” and Gerald Finzi’s “In Terra Pax,” a 1954 work for soprano and baritone soloists, chorus and orchestra. Finzi’s composition combines St. Luke’s account of the angels’ appearance to the shepherds with a poem by Robert Bridges, “Noel: Christmas Eve, 1913,” imagining the angels’ song, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” sung over the contemporary English countryside.
Other music on the program includes Paul Bouman’s setting of the Robert Herrick poem “What Sweeter Music,” a new setting of “The First Noel” by Carl Schalk, John Rutter’s “Carol of the Children” sung by the 5–8 choir of Grace School, Catalonian carols sung by Joyful Voices, and music from the Grace Handbell Choir.
The concert is free and open to the public. There will be a freewill offering. A reception follows the concert in Fellowship Hall.