Albert Lea church to host its annual Christmas concert

Published 8:31 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

First Lutheran Church of Albert Lea will present its Christmas gift to the community of Albert Lea as the Hanging of the Green Christmas concert returns at 7 p.m. Friday, according to a press release.

Over the years, the concert has become a regional Christmas event. The 40-voice strong choir will be accompanied by the 33-piece First Lutheran Church Christmas orchestra as they tell the story of Jesus Christ’s advent and birth through song. The orchestra is comprised of professional symphony musicians from Minneapolis/St. Paul and Des Moines, Iowa.

According to a press release, highlights will include contemporary orchestral arrangements of “What Strangers are These,” “My Heart, Your Bethlehem,” “Welcome to Our World” and “All is Well.”

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First Lutheran Church Liturgical Dancers will offer dance to a festive “Gloria” written for the orchestra by Paul Barker.

The congregation will sing together the beloved King’s Bethlehem.

The First Lutheran Church ladies will be featured on Hector Berlioz’s “The Shepherd’s Farewell.” Albert Lea High School senior Cali Mowers will be the featured soloist in the song “Be Born in Me.”

The event is called the Hanging of the Green because there is a festival procession of the lighted Christmas greens into the sanctuary for the seasonal hanging. According to event organizers, the procession is symbolic of bringing the light of the world, Jesus Christ, into the dark world.

There is also a procession of colorful Christmas banners. An appearance by members of the First Lutheran Church WordAlive drama team will help tell the Christmas story in its portrayal of the magi.

The community of Albert Lea and its surrounding communities are invited to attend the free event.

The First Lutheran Church choir and orchestra is under the direction of Tim O’Shields.

For more information, call First Lutheran Church at 373-6424.