Tag Archives: Ceremony of Carols

This Sunday at the Cathedral of Saint Paul – Cherubic faces. Angelic voices. Heavenly Music.

December 16, 2011

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Cathedral Youth Choir will sing Ceremony of Carols

This Sunday, Dec. 18 at 2:30 p.m. the Saint Cecilia Choristers of the Cathedral Choir School of Minnesota present Benjamin Britten’s innocent and beloved Ceremony of Carols with harp accompaniment. The work opens and closes with the choristers processing by candlelight singing the ancient Gregorian chant, Hodie Christus natus est! The Cathedral is located at 239 Selby Avenue, at the corners of Summit Ave. and John Ireland Blvd. There is no cost for the concert; however, a suggested donation of $15 is welcome and appreciated.

Britten’s Ceremony of Carols is a masterpiece composed while on board a ship during a perilous five-week crossing of the North Atlantic. The year was 1942 and World War II was at its height as Britten was returning to England from the U.S.A., explains Robert Ridgell, Director of Sacred Music for the Cathedral of Saint Paul. “It is an unusual setting for treble voices and harp, and the ‘carols’ are largely the product of 15th and 16th century writers, mostly anonymous. The work opens and closes with the youth choir processing by candlelight singing to plainsong, the Hodie chant sung for centuries at Vespers on Christmas Eve. The carol settings in-between deal with the traditional stories surrounding the birth of Christ,” adds Ridgell.

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