Lucia Ensemble – Sankta Lucia, 10th December 2021 at 7.30pm

Lucia Ensemble warmly invite you to their upcoming concert celebrating the Swedish tradition of Sankta Lucia on the 10th of December, at 19:30 here at Kelvinside Hillhead. Tickets to the concert are free and can be obtained here.

Sankta Lucia is an integral part of Scandinavian Christmas tradition. With the light of candles, Scandinavians celebrate love, compassion and warmth in the cold and harsh winter months. This is traditionally done with a singing procession and a concert of beautiful Scandinavian choral works.

The international ensemble performing on this evening is formed of the talented students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland directed by Nils Benedikt Meier. Along with the young and lively ‘Lucia Ensemble’ choir, enjoy an interesting mix of musicians from different backgrounds, creating a lovely musical fusion of cultures.


Detail from a mosaic in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Matthew 2:1-12

Advent, Christmas Day: A Christmas Prayer

Loving Father,
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing
which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning
make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus’ sake.

A Christmas Prayer, Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

This post, shared by Margaret, is the last in our online “Advent calendar”. Merry Christmas! You can see all the posts here.

Advent, Day 24: Northern Light

Icelanders celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, as my family does. At this time of year, the darkness of the far north is at its peak. In some fjords in the west of the country, the sun barely manages to rise above the mountains before darkness descends again.

Many years ago I recorded Bernaður Guðmundsson, the pastor of the church at Skáholt. He remembers a childhood memory told to him by his grandfather, about the preciousness of light on Christmas Eve.

This post from Anna is part of our online “Advent calendar”, taking us through to Christmas. You can see all the posts here.

Advent, Day 23: Still the Night

I find Christmas a very nostalgic time – there are things that stand out in the memory, like wending your way home through gently falling snow after a Christmas Watchnight service with a lovely warm feeling inside – or the annual re and re-reading as a child of Enid Blyton’s Christmas Book, with its wonderful explanation of Yuletide customs and traditions, all within the context of a family life which read then as something cosy and predictable, but not, somehow, ‘twee’! 

The time I cooked the turkey upside down by mistake, which made the breast beautifully moist.  The excitement of the biennial trip to the cousins for Christmas Dinner. Coming home from the midnight service to start mixing the Christmas pudding, then having it steaming gently all the way through to dinner time to make up for it’s not having been made weeks before.  Flickering firelight. 

Close your eyes and just remember – as you listen to ‘Still the night, holy the night’.

This post from Maureen is part of our online “Advent calendar”, taking us through to Christmas. You can see all the posts here.

Advent, Day 22: Cathures Choir

As one of our hall user groups, Cathures are one of the highlights of our Christingle Service every year, and thankfully this year was no exception as they managed to create this wonderful performance for us while staying suitably socially distanced!

I’m sure anyone who has tried to sing along as part of a Zoom meeting will know that this must have taken a huge amount of work to record and put together, and it sounds beautiful.

This post is part of our online “Advent calendar”, taking us through to Christmas. You can see all the posts here.

Advent, Day 20: The Mackintosh Choir

KH choir stalwart Mary is also a member of the Mackintosh choir, who have been preparing for their Christmas concert with a difference – this year it will go live on Youtube, tonight, Sunday 20th December at 7pm and is available to view online afterwards as well.

Normally a collection to support The Lodging House Mission is made at the concert, and this year is no different – you can make a donation here.

This post, by Mary, is part of our online “Advent calendar”, taking us through to Christmas. You can see all the posts here.

Advent, Day 19: The Starring Role

Today we celebrate the new mothers who over the years have cheerfully passed their precious bundles into the enthusiastic – and careful! – arms of young Marys (or Josephs, if Mary is particularly young) for our annual Nativity performance.

There has been a proud tradition for many years of asking the parents of the last baby born to a member of the congregation (or known to them!) to take this starring role, and several members of Young Church will have no memory of taking centre stage during ‘Away in a Manger’.

However, I’m sure you will agree that the shepherds, angels, inn keepers, and animals are all stars as well.

This post is part of our online “Advent calendar”, taking us through to Christmas. You can see all the posts here.

Advent, Day 18: In Dulce Jubilo

Kings College Choir, Cambridge

For me the musical highlight of Christmas over the years, is not a piece, but the annual broadcast of the service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Cambridge on Christmas Eve.

The sound of that choir and organ in that magnificent acoustic is second to none, and one of the carols they traditionally sing is “In dulci jubilo”, a verse of which I shall play on the 19th, followed by the Bach Prelude BWV 729 on “In dulci jubilo”. Again,this is always traditionally played at the end of the service.

Alan, our church organist will be playing for us during an hour of music and readings to celebrate Advent and Christmas tomorrow, Saturday 19th December from 2pm-3pm in the church.

This post, by Alan, is part of our online “Advent calendar”, taking us through to Christmas. You can see all the posts here.