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Bucks County Choral Society reimagines traditional Anglican Lessons and Carols


The Bucks County Choral Society will present its Christmas program, a new take on the traditional Anglican “Nine Lessons and Carols,” titled “Reimagine,” at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Doylestown at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 4 p.m. Dec. 10.

This re-envisioning includes many of the traditional carols set to handbells and organ and features BCCS singer and poet Susan Carol Scott’s poetic cycle “On Trails of Hope and Longing: a Poetic Pilgrimage” as the “Lessons.”

The choir will be accompanied by the handbell ensemble Philadelphia Bronze, honoring Plumsteadville’s Malmark Bellcraftsmen’s 50th anniversary.

Artistic Director Thomas Lloyd, while planning this concert, sought to offer a fresh, modern perspective on the ancient Christmas story. He reached out to poet and choir-member Susan Scott, and the result is the “inspiring and profound” Lessons the audience will hear. Scott notes that her poems were informed in part by Hebrew scholar Everett Fox’s commentaries on the Genesis texts and Joseph Campbell’s conversations with Bill Moyers titled “The Power of Myth.”

The choral society explains the program this way: “From the first lesson, ‘Beginnings,’ where ‘God’s breath animates, human form comes to birth in Adam,’ through ‘God’s Promise,’ ‘Hope and Fear’ to the Shepherds and the Magi to the final lesson, ‘Logos in the Cosmos’ where ‘we glimpse multiplication of God’s grace upon grace’ the cycle follows narrative one finds in the Scriptures, but takes a slightly different path to the same destination.”

This concert is what the society calls “a marvelous melding of stirring lessons, triumphant bells, organ and choir, along with contrasting moments of unaccompanied carols of quiet urgency.”

“The audience will enjoy the musical offerings from the triumphant heralding of the bells, the boundless celebration of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus,’ the energy of Moses Hogan’s ‘Glory to the Newborn King,’ to the peace of ‘Silent Night.’ BCCS is proud to present this new look on an old tradition; one of hope, of comfort and joy and good will to all,” the society added.

For tickets and information visit