St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, located at 630 Mississippi Avenue on Signal Mountain, will hold services of Holy Eucharist at 3:00, 5:30 and 10:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve. All are welcome to attend these services which will be led by The Rev. George Choyce, Rector, The Rev. Kathryn Mathewson, Associate Rector, and The Rev. Peter Kanyi, Assistant Priest.
The family service at 3:00 will feature music by the Young Singers of St. Timothy’s, along with The Rev. Kanyi’s homily which will lead the children’s setting of the manger scene and retell the familiar Christmas story.
The later festival services will feature a 30 minute musical prelude and a sermon by The Rev. Choyce. Carols will be led by organ, timpani, and Zammarin, an ensemble at St. Timothy’s that plays a variety of instruments—flute, mandolin, guitar, and percussion. A chamber string orchestra and harpsichord will add more instrumental color to the musical offerings.
The prelude opens with the sixth movement of Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto. This Baroque composer’s setting will lead us into another Baroque classic, “Comfort Ye,” from George Frederic Handel’s Messiah.
The tenor aria, sung by Tarbell Patten (Director of Zammarin) is the first of two prophecy pieces in the prelude. It is followed by “Behold a Star from Jacob Shining” from Christus, by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Sung by St. Timothy’s Choir, this is one of the great choral classics, and it ends with the German chorale, Wie schön leuchtet, “Like Some Bright Morning Star is He.”
Prophecy gives way to the Good News of Jesus’ birth, represented in the prelude by “The Christ Child is Born,” composed by Linda Wimberly of Marietta, Georgia. Zammarin offers acoustic accompaniment, welcoming back Josh and Rebecca Edwards, Steven Hopkins, and Ben Hackett along with other members. Principal soloists are Kathy Tugman at 5:30 and Bob McKenzie at 10:30.
This is followed by a Chinese folk song offered by St. Timothy’s Schola (the youth choir) with Zammarin and violin accompaniment. The Schola will sing first in Chinese and then in English.
The Prelude’s climax is a solo offered by Desirée Soteres, soprano. Accompanied by the orchestra and harpsichord, she will sing the classic “O, Holy Night” by Adolphe Charles Adam.
Later in the service, St. Timothy’s Choir will offer Mark Sedio’s setting of “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” St. Timothy’s Schola will sing a Brazilian carol, “A Child” by Simei Monteiro, and Zammarin will offer “Jesus Messiah” by Chris Tomlin. The 5:30 service will end with a carol-sing led by Zammarin.