The St. Stephen's community celebrate the holiday season with two special Festival of Lessons and Carols programs in the school Chapel. Middle School families celebrated on Saturday, Dec. 14, and Upper School families gathered on Sunday, Dec. 15.
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first introduced on Christmas Eve in 1918 at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. Traditionally the candlelit service begins with the lone voice of a shepherd singing of the humble faith of Mary and concludes with a joyful carol after the reading announcing the birth of Jesus.
For decades at St. Stephen’s, the service has included the retelling of this arc of salvation history, as well as anthems and carols led by members of the school choirs. The service provides a wonderful opportunity to pause in the midst of a hectic holiday season and pray for God’s peace and blessing upon our community and the world.
Participants included the Rev. Todd FitzGerald, Upper School Lay Chaplains Jim Crosby ’70 and Morgan Stokes, Middle School Lay Chaplain Adam Varner ’03, Fine Arts Chair Elizabeth Hansing Moon, and Director of Choirs Kendra Lipman. Acolytes were Simone Dudley, Emma Hou, Edison Leigh, Daniella Mba, Quari Robinson and Eliah Ugarte.
Musicians included Jodi Blount on organ and piano; Levi Skaistis, soprano soloist; Stella FitzGerald, soprano soloist; Linda Liu on flute; Hai Zheng Olefsky on cello; Margaret Yankeelov on oboe; Sam Lipman on percussion and saxophone; and Chelsea Xue on percussion. Both programs also included a performance by the school's string quartet, featuring Gabby Hoo and Matthew Kim on violin, Jael Dammann on viola, and Natalie Kim on cello.
Many thanks to everyone who made an offering during the program in support of our sister school, St. Etienne, in Salmedere, Haiti.
We hope you carry the peace and love of the holiday season with you throughout the new year.