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Presbyterians to feature Fred Waring carol

At 10:30 a.m. worship this Sunday, December 16, Tyrone Presbyterians will celebrate the third Sunday in Advent with a responsive reading about joy led by Mrs. Roselyn Laird, a Fred Waring carol by the Church choir, two Victorian carols led by Deborah Huff Estright, and an Advent message by Reverend Mark Liller.
Presbyterian Deacon Roselyn Laird will open worship by lighting the third Advent Candle of Joy and by leading the audience in a responsive reading about joy drawn from the reflections of German hymn writer Johann Franck and entitled, “Soul, Adorn Yourself With Gladness.”
To emphasize the Advent theme of joy, the nine singers in the Presbyterian choir will present a German echo carol entitled “How Great Our Joy.” As part of a 1960 recording labeled “The Sounds Of Christmas,” 1917 Tyrone graduate Fred Waring and his choral group christened the Pennsylvanians made popular this carol. In this carol, tidings of comfort and joy are echoed back and forth between the higher and lower voices of the choir.
In addition to the choir’s Fred Waring carol, Allegheny Chorale Director Deborah Huff Estright, along with Church organist Richard Merryman, will lead the audience in the beloved 1849 British children’s hymn entitled “Once In Royal David’s City.” Using language that children easily could understand, this Victorian British hymn guides singers through the birth, childhood, and eventual triumph of Jesus. Since 1918, the Champion Boys Choir at King’s College Cambridge in England has utilized this hymn to open their celebrated “Festival Of Nine Lessons And Carols” each Christmas Eve.
On this third Sunday of Advent 2007, Presbyterian Interim Pastor Mark Liller will reflect on this topic in his morning message – “What Jesus Wants For Christmas.” In his homily, Reverend Liller will emphasize that believers are called to look forward to the coming Messiah, who will save the world. And of course, God hopes that believers will bring the Messiah one very special gift – the gift of themselves.
Following Liller’s Advent sermon, Mrs. Estright and Mr. Merryman once again will lead the audience in a British Victorian carol entitled “In The Bleak Mid-Winter, that will echo the sermon theme. Composed in 1872 by the mystical poet Christina Rossetti, this carol will summarize the message of the morning: “In The Bleak Mid-Winter, Frosty Wind Made Moan / Earth Stood Hard As Iron, Water Like A Stone / Snow Had Fallen, Snow On Snow, Snow On Snow / In The Bleak Mid-Winter, Long, Long Ago/ What Can I Give Him, Poor As I Am / If I Were A Shepherd, I Would Bring A Lamb / If I Were A Wise Man, I Would Do My Part / What Can I Give Him – I Can Give My Heart!
Why not join Tyrone Presbyterians for Advent worship at 10:30 a.m. this Sunday December 16, as they reflect on what they can give the Lord this Christmas season?