Medina Journal-Register — It’s the most wonderful time of the year — especially if you’re in the mood for holiday music. Local concerts are occurring throughout the area this weekend and the rest of the Christmas season.
Among the holiday highlights is the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a new “old” Christmas tradition that continues to grow in the Medina area. Aaron Grabowski, Music Director and Principal Organist at Holy Trinity started the festival celebration four years ago. He was looking for a way to put Christ back in Christmas — not just for Catholics, but for all area Christians.
“When the Christmas season comes on like a whirlwind, folks have welcomed this opportunity to catch their breath and enjoy the true meaning of the season,” said Grabowski. “It only lasts about an hour, but that hour is filled with Christmas scripture and music. More and more folks have really come to make this the highlight of their Christmas season.”
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols has been around for nearly one hundred years. In 1918, the dean of King’s Chapel at Cambridge College in England, wanted to try something new with a Christmas liturgy. He wove together scripture and song, called on readers of various ages from school and town, and created this seasonal gathering known as The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.
“The festival is Anglican in its roots,” said Grabowski. “However, many Christian denominations have adopted the event as their own ... it is very ecumenical in nature.”
The Medina festival, though hosted by Holy Trinity RC Parish, has participants from over fourteen area Christian congregations and is growing. The concert is being held at 7 p.m. Dec. 22, following a 30-minute pipe organ prelude. The event is supported and promoted by the Orleans Renaissance Group. The Medina Area Christian Theater has been a key participant for the past two years, and will return again this year. Members act out the Christmas scripture readings, adding a beautiful dimension to the liturgy.