As is custom, the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Corner Brook hosted an Advent Ecumenical service on the first Sunday of Advent, November 28th. Relaxed COVID-19 protocols once again allowed for a sizeable Salvation Army Band and an expanded, though selected, choir.
The choir included the Cathedral’s Choral Scholars (sponsored by MUN’s Bruneau Center for Choral Excellence), Cathedral Choir members, and several singers from the Bay of Musical Arts Chorus, many of them students of Dr. Jennifer Matthews. Their choral selections, chosen by the Cathedral’s Vicar Choral, Fr Lynn Braye, included “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree” by Elizabeth Poston, “Advent Peace Canon” by Pachelbel, arranged by Elaine Schram, and “Gabriel to Mary came,” a 14th century Irish piece.
The band, prepared by Wendy Woodland and directed by Jason Reid, played a prelude and accompanied several congregational hymns including “Lo, How a Rose e’er Blooming” and Frederik Kaan’s “Tomorrow Christ is Coming.” Organist, Dr. Doreen Helen Klassen, accompanied several other hymns, and flautist Vickie Crocker several choral selections.
The service used the Anglican Nine Lessons and Carols format, but it was a truly ecumenical event, as instrumentalists, readers, and choir members came from the city’s Anglican, Bahai, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, and United churches and faith traditions. Funds raised were donated to the local food bank.