Lessons & Carols

December 2018: Inaugural Lessons & Carols


Lessons and Carols

On the evening of December 20th, 2018 the great church of St. Aloysius rang with the sounds and songs of Lessons & Carols.   This service of nine readings and nine carols is a tradition that began in England in 1918 to celebrate Christmas.  Last Thursday the celebration was led by a choir of men from the Day Program at The Father McKenna Center who are struggling with or have conquered homelessness.  The McKenna Center Singers have been practicing for 10 weeks, under the direction of Rev. Phil Ganir, SJ.   They were joined by The Least of These Gospel Choir from Holy Redeemer Church.

Over one hundred people enjoyed the prayerful service, and most of them plan to attend next year.  The greatest measure of success, however, is the pride that The McKenna Center Singers felt.  “I never knew that I could sing in front of people like that,” said Eric S.  “It was great to be part of the group.”





Music included traditional carols such as “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “Once in Royal David’s City,” as well as the traditional spiritual “Yield Not to Temptation” and the more recent “I Will Get There.”  The Least of These Gospel Choir shared a particularly powerful rendition of “Mary Did You Know?”



After the service, Conductor Rev. Phil Ganir, SJ from the St. Aloysius Gonzaga Jesuit Community said, “My deepest consolation was seeing how the McKenna men made this century-old prayer service their own.  Hearing them sing their faith made my Christmas extra special.”

We thank all of our readers:

Mr. Mark Emery, Gonzaga College High School

Mrs. Cathy Fox, Gonzaga Mothers Club

Rev. Mr. Willis Daniels, Deacon, Holy Redeemer Parish

Ms. Analise Brower, Washington Jesuit Academy

Rev. Ron Anton, SJ, Georgetown Jesuit Community

Sr. Lisa Buscher, RSCJ, Contemplative Leaders in Action

Mrs. Tania Chomiak-Salvi, Holy Trinity Parish

Mr. Patrick Gaul, Georgetown Preparatory School – class of 2020

Mr. Gerry Nolan, The Father McKenna Center Board of Directors


Please join us on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 for the Second Annual Lessons & Carols!