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Annual Advent Service set for Dec. 7 at Perkins School of Theology

November 20, 2017

DALLAS (SMU) – An Advent Service of the Great O Antiphons will be held Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, at 4 and 8 p.m. in Perkins Chapel, 6001 Bishop Boulevard, on the Southern Methodist University campus.  The event is free and open to the public.

Theme for the annual worship service, sponsored by Perkins School of Theology, is “Ero Cras…I shall come tomorrow,” will include Perkins and SMU faculty and student musicians and the 8 p.m. service will feature the Dallas-based Orpheus Chamber Singers.

The Great O Antiphons, part of Roman liturgies by the 8th century and an ancient tradition in western Christian heritage, are the seven antiphons recited in turn during Vespers on December 17 through 23—the so-called Octave before Christmas. Each antiphon begins by addressing the Messiah with a different name (Wisdom, Lord of Lords, Root of Jesse, and others) and concludes with an entreaty to bring salvation to God’s people. They are perhaps best known through the Advent hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

According to Dr. Christopher Anderson, Associate Professor of Sacred Music at Perkins School of Theology, service organizer and organist, the antiphons themselves hold a secret. 

“The first letters of the second Latin word in each antiphon, read backwards, form the acrostic ERO CRAS — I shall come tomorrow,” he explained.  “It points to the Savior hidden and revealed to those who enter into the Advent discipline of waiting.”

Both services will feature the Seminary Singers of Perkins School of Theology, conducted by Simon Hill (M.S.M. ’17), Director ad interim and accompanied by Hannah Cruse (M.S.M.).  Soloists include Joseph Stobaugh, (M.S.M. ’03), soprano saxophone (4 and 8 p.m.) and Camille King, Adjunct Professor of Voice, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU (4 p.m.).  The Orpheus Chamber Singers, conducted by Donald Krehbiel (M.S.M. ’83), Founder and Artistic Director, will perform during the 8 p.m. service.

Readers for the service include the following faculty and staff of Perkins School of Theology:  Charles L. Aaron, Associate Director, Intern Program; Carlos F. Cardoza Orlandi, Director, Doctor of Ministry Program; Laura Figura, Coordinator of Student Life; Craig C. Hill, Dean; Tamara E. Lewis, Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity; Evelyn Parker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology; Margot Perez-Greene, Associate Dean for Enrollment Management; and Mark W. Stamm, Professor of Christian Worship.

Parking is available in the garage beneath the Meadows Museum of Art (across the street from Perkins School of Theology).  For more information, contact Teresa Rosado at Chapel@smu.edu or 214-768-2502.

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Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Pastoral Music as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.