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Advent Vespers fills Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel with sounds of the season

Advent VespersAfter a number of years of services at churches in other parts of Northwest Philadelphia, the annual Advent Vespers “came home” to LTSP’s own Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel on Sunday, December 6, 2015. With the end of an important restoration, the assembly was able to enter beneath the chapel’s reconstructed bell tower to fill the chapel and heard the lovely chapel bell calling all to prayer, and tolling during the “Our Father.”

Advent VespersAdvent Vespers (Evening Prayer) was led by the seminary choir under the leadership of Dr. Michael Krentz, Director of Music Ministries/Seminary Cantor. At the center of Evening Prayer is the singing of the Gospel Canticle, the Song of Mary, the Magnificat. This year, the choir sang this familiar text in a setting by the 19th century English composer Thomas Attwood Walmisley.

Other music will included Carl Schalk’s haunting arrangement of “As the Dark Awaits the Dawn,” and Philip Dietterich’s “Carol of the Advent.” Of course, there were also be many hymns and songs of Advent for the assembly to sing, and the loveliness of candle light. Also part of the service was a prayer for all the nations in which each nation was named.

The Rev. Dr. Robert Bornemann, the late professor of Old Testament and long time director of the Seminary Choir, was remembered for his contribution to Advent vespers over the years he served on the seminary faculty. The Rev. Dr. Robert E. Bornemann Memorial Fund supports the annual vespers.

Advent Vespers reception music by The Groove Grace GroupFollowing the Vespers liturgy, all were invited to The Brossman Center for fellowship and a festive reception featuring good food and musical entertainment by “The Groove Grace Group.” The group, featuring Jon Pahl, alto and tenor saxes; Richard Mandel, piano; Ed Dennis, drums; John D’Urso, bass – and perhaps some special guests – provided a musical accompaniment to the many conversations between seminary faculty, staff, students, and friends of LTSP, playing Advent and Holiday (Christmas) music, with a swing feel.

Read an article from The Philadelphia Tribune about Advent Vespers.

Enjoy these photos of Advent Vespers

and of the reception that followed

You will find the Advent Vespers photo gallery here.

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