Carol Services

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Ephrem Feeley
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:05 pm
Parish / Diocese: Ashbourne Meath

Carol Services

Post by Ephrem Feeley »

Christmas Carol Service 2009.pdf

Well, it's that time of year again when we are planning the carol service for the Catholic girls' secondary school where I teach. We've done some interesting formats in the past: one in particular told the story of the Nativity from the viewpoint of the Star of Bethlehem (attached); another traced the passing of the Light of God to Adam and Eve, through Abraham, the patriarchs and prophets, to the Light of God incarnate in Jesus Christ, to the saints throughout the ages. All with music from Gregorian chant to modern carols and hymns.
Does anyone have any format that they would like to share?
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Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:11 pm
Location: Frozen North

Re: Carol Services

Post by dmu3tem »

Years ago at school my house did a sequence of six medieval mystery plays, complete with medieval music researched and arranged by no less a person than David Hiley, who was on the staff at the time and later wrote the massive authoritative Introduction to Western Plainchant (cannot remember the exact title). Why not try this? Your English staff would love it if they have specialised in late-medieval English literature; and some of the plots are strong and earthy. In one case the local sheep stealer passes off his loot as a baby and is then caught out when people try to shake the baby's hands! You might need to modernise the Chaucerian English though (although I suspect modernised editions do exist)

Excellent medieval music I remember is:

Gaudete (arrangement available in Laudate)
Song of the Nuns of Chester (plainchant in Latin: Qui Creavit in seaculum) (in Oxford Book of Carols)
Nova, Nova, Ave fit ex Eva.
The Coventry Carol (in Oxford Book of Carols)

I remember in another Primary School they combined the medieval theme with a feast: in which case the Boar's Head Carol is exceptionally good value (again in the Oxford Book of Carols)

For this sort of stuff it is best to get away from organs and keyboards and use small instrumental combinations. Over the years I made several arrangements of medieval carols for Clarinet, Violin, Cello (or Bassoon). If you want to see these, get in touch.

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