Each year on the first Wednesday of December, Epworth United Methodist Church holds a Festival of Lesson and Carols. This year, with the performance scheduled on Dec. 7, Epworth's music director, Cecil Baughman, decided to take note of the historic day and pay tribute to the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
The first half of the concert will feature Christmas songs from the World War II era, sung by Mary Squires, and a presentation of the colors by the Pershing Rifles, a military fraternal organization from the University of Toledo.
"The people who help me plan these things all felt it would be inappropriate not to do something in honor of Pearl Harbor Day," Mr. Baughman said. "It is part of our culture, and we can't ignore it, especially since it's the 70th anniversary."
He said he hopes to see many veterans at the free event, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at the church, 3077 Valley View Dr.
The second half of the evening will feature traditional Lessons and Carols, with Scripture readings followed by musical selections that reflect the verses. Performing will be the Academy Brass Quintet, the Epworth Orchestra, and the Chancel Choir.
An offering will be taken, with proceeds benefiting Toledo Campus Ministries.
Another Lessons and Carols concert, the "O" Antiphons of Advent, will be presented at Trinity Episcopal Church, 316 Adams St., at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd., will host an Advent Lessons and Carols concert at 3 p.m. Sunday. The concert is free and open to the public.
Paul Monachino, cathedral music director and director of liturgical music for the Toledo Catholic Diocese, will play organ and direct the Cathedral Choir.
In an Advent version of Lessons and Carols, the Scripture selections and carols focus on the prophecies of Jesus' birth as found in the biblical books of Baruch (from the Apocrypha) and Isaiah, concluding with the Annunciation, Mr. Monachino said. That differs from a Christmas concert of Lessons and Carols in which the verses and songs center on Jesus' birth.
Mr. Monachino said Lessons and Carols were part of the early church when Scripture readings were followed by responsorial Psalms during all-night vigils. It was revived in England in the World War I era, he said, as a way to lift the spirits of war-weary Britons.