A Weekend of Celebration of the Season

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Several days of inclement weather couldn't stop the LTSP community from celebrating the season with two annual events.

The Annual Tree Lighting, usually held on William Allen plaza, moved up the steps to the Shaeffer-Ashmead chapel to escape the rain on Friday, December 6, 2013. The seminary and Mt. Airy community were joined by a brass Christmas Ensemble from the Salvation Army, Philadelphia Citadel for the First Friday event. Carols were sung, cookies and cider were eaten, and the tree was lit - removely - as Philadelphia Councilwoman Cindy Bass, who represents the community, proclaimed "Let there be lightt!" LTSP President Philip Krey welcomed the carolers and ensemble and offered prayer, and East Mt. Airy community member Dan Muroff added a welcome.

Photos from the Tree Lighting

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Sunday was set as the date for the Annual Advent Vespers. The weather forecast started out with "several inches of snow," but several inches turned into much more, blanketing the Philadelphia region with up to a foot in an unusal early season storm. The snow, however, did not keep a group from the seminary community and some intrepid travelers from coming together for a reception and the Annual Advent Vespers on December 8. The service, held at Grace Ephiphany Episcopal Church on Gowan Avenue, just a short distance from the seminary, was led by the seminary choir under the direction of LTSP Director of Music Ministries and Seminary Cantor Dr. Michael Krentz.

The Service of Evening Prayer featured beautiful candle light and music for choir and assembly from across the globe and from many centuries. The choir sang “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come,” written by a leading North American Lutheran, Paul Manz, and first published in 1954. This beautiful motet provided the theme for this year’s vespers, “Christ Is Coming Soon!”

Other pieces for choir and assembly included an anonymous 9th century Latin hymn; Advent music from Korea, 16th century Germany, 18th and 20th century England, and 20th century North America; several Spirituals; and a setting of the Magnificat by Joseph Barnby (1838 – 1896).

Drs. Helga and Reinhold Schwartz, who were to be presented the Soli Deo Gloria Award, were not able to attend the reception due to the weather. They will be presented with the award at a future date.

Advent vespers is supported by the Rev. Dr. Robert Bornemann Memorial Fund, named to remember the seminary's long time professor of Hebrew and Old Testament, who also led the seminary choir for many years.

Photos from the Advent Vespers reception and service

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