BEHOLD A NEW JOY

Wednesday, December 19, 7 pm

Join the Choir of St. Francis de Sales for its annual Christmas concert by candlelight–a West Philadelphia tradition!

Music will feature arrangements of traditional and modern Advent and Christmas music, as well as selections from Porter, Holst, Bennett, and Rutter. Come behold our magnificent French organ (the largest in the Delaware Valley), now uncovered for the first time in four years!

A dessert and hot chocolate reception follows (per usual) in the parish hall. Freewill donations accepted at the door. Children welcome!

TENEBRAE: Songs in the Shadow of the Cross

Tuesday, March 27, 7 pm
FREE (no collection taken or donations asked)
All welcome

The Latin word for “shadows” or “darkness,” tenebrae is the name given to the Church’s celebration of the Hours of Matins and Lauds for Holy Week. It was much more common before Vatican II, but today it’s often used as a “choral preparation” or meditation on the themes of the Passion. A great number of composers have written some beautiful meditative pieces for this rite.

Psalms and hymns of lament are read and sung, and we are invited to reflect on the poetry and great mystery of Christ’s death for us. Throughout the hour, each and every candle and light in the church is extinguished–all except one, to represent Christ in the great darkness of the silent church. A loud noise (called the strepitum) is heard: the “shudder of creation” at the death of Jesus. All depart in silence.

Join us and the Choir of St. Francis de Sales as we enact this solemn and ancient choral meditation with the music of Palestrina, Garau, Byrd, and others in preparation for the great darkness of Good Friday–and look with great hope and joy to the Light of Easter morning.