Community service of lessons and carols coming back to Deerfield

  • The First Church of Deerfield will host an hour-long “Community Service of Lessons and Carols” on Dec. 15, at 4 p.m. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 12/13/2019 1:41:16 PM
Modified: 12/13/2019 1:41:03 PM

DEERFIELD — The First Church of Deerfield will open its doors on Sunday to three school choirs and the public for a tradition that was revived about five years ago.

The church plans to host an hour-long “Community Service of Lessons and Carols” at 4 p.m., featuring the choirs of The Bement School, Deerfield Academy and Eaglebrook School, as well as its own choir made up of church and community members. Dr. Thomas Pousont, the church’s director of music for the past 15 years, said the service will include readings, choral and instrumental music, and Christmas carols the audience can join in on. The event is free to attend.

“It’s a great way to offer something to the community this time of year,” he said. “To gather together in the beautiful building and get to sing together.”

The show was a tradition, Pousont said, about 20 years ago, and was brought back about five years ago.

Pousont explained community services of lessons and carols are commonly associated with King’s College in Cambridge, England. He said the services, held on or near Christmas, weave music with recountings of the Christmas story through readings. Pousont said there are traditionally nine readings, though there will be seven this year. To get an idea of what to expect, he said to imagine the articulate speech character Linus van Pelt makes in the movie “A Charlie Brown Christmas” to explain “what Christmas is all about.”

Pousont said traditional songs will include “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night” and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

He said his 16-person choir has been rehearsing for the service an hour and 15 minutes twice a week since the beginning of November.

“Things are going well,” he said, adding that his singers will perform music by composer Charles Ives. Pousont said guests to the service always walk away happy and filled with holiday cheer.


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