Christmas at the Seminary


On Sunday, Dec. 9, the Seminary Chorus presented its annual Christmas at the Seminary.

“Some have said that the pattern for a musical Christmas was established already in the days around Jesus’ birth. Four great song texts appear on the pages of Luke’s Gospel: The Song of Mary, the Song of Zechariah, the Song of the Angels, and the Song of Simeon. Many know their traditional Latin titles: Magnificat, Benedictus, Gloria in Excelsis, and Nunc Dimittis,” writes Professor James Tiefel. “Whether they were originally sung or not, we can’t be sure, but Christian composers quickly set them to music.”

The Seminary Chorus then presented musical settings of those Christmas canticles.

Professor Tiefel explains, “The arrangement of Magnificat is scored for contemporary ensemble with a paraphrase of the text by the composer. The setting of the Benedictus comes from the Anglican Church of the 16th century. The Gloria in excelsis appears in two settings, one which says less than the original text and one which says more—a Russian setting of the expanded Gloria text of the Ordinary. The lovely setting of the Nunc Dimittis was prepared by noted Lutheran composer Dr. Carl Schalk.”

For those were unable to attend, the archived concert is available at