A New Song of Grace and Truth (Live) St. Olaf College
- 1Newborn Glimmer (Live)06:02
- 2A New Magnificat (Arr. for Choir & Orchestra) [Live]05:21
- 3All Earth Is Hopeful (Arr. J.E. Bobb for Choir & Orchestra) [Live]02:28
- 4Narration "In the Begining" (Live)00:49
- 5Blessed Be the God of Israel - My Soul Proclaims Your Greatness, Lord (Arr. J.E. Bobb for Choir & Orchestra) [Live]06:13
- 6The Seasons, Hob. XXI:3, Pt. 1 "Spring": No. 8a, Ewiger, Machtiger, Gutiger Gott! (Live)03:34
- 7The Word Was God (Arr. W. Powell for Bass Choir) [Live]02:44
- 8In Darkest Night (Version for Choir, Orchestra & Piano) [Live]02:53
- 9Adam lay ybounden (Live)02:06
- 10Our Father, Op. 29 No. 11 (Sung in English) [Live]04:53
- 11O Magnum Mysterium (Arr. S. Dackow for Choir & Orchestra) [Live]06:18
- 12Joy to the World (After G.F. Handel & L. Mason) [Excerpt 1] [Live]01:25
- 13Gospel Reading (Luke 2:1-20) - In terra pax, Op. 39 (Excerpt) [Live]04:12
- 14Joy to the World (After G.F. Handel & L. Mason) [Excerpt 2] [Live]01:19
- 15Wana Baraka (Arr. S.L Kirchner for Choir & Percussion) [Live]03:15
- 16Make We Joy Now in This Fest (Arr. T.D. Robertson for Choir, Trumpets & Piano) [Live]03:37
- 17The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy (Arr. M. Wilberg for Choir & Percussion) [Live]03:59
- 18Cradle Hymn (Version for Mixed Choir, Orchestra & Piano) [Live]05:35
- 19Alleluia (Live)03:25
- 20And Suddenly (Version for Treble Choir, Piano & Percussion) [Live]04:55
- 21Gloria, FP 177: II. Laudamus te (Live)03:09
- 22Glories Ring (Version for Orchestra & Handbell Choir) [Live]03:55
- 23The Friendly Beasts (Arr. R. Scholz for Choir) [Live]03:28
- 24Jeg er så glad hver julekveld (Arr. R. Scholz for Choir & Orchestra) [Live]01:44
- 25O Day Full of Grace (Arr. F.M. Christiansen for Choir) [Live]03:50
- 26Narration "The Lord Is Compassionate" (Live)01:06
- 27Requiem: IV. Sanctus (Live)03:08
- 28O Come, All Ye Faithful (Attrib. J.F. Wade) [Arr. J. Ferguson] [Live]04:01
- 29Narration "O Lord, Make Known Your Ways" (Live)00:51
- 30Nunc Dimittis (Arr. for Choir & Orchestra) [Live]05:06
- 31Beautiful Savior (Arr. F.M. Christiansen for Choir) [Live]01:41
Info for A New Song of Grace and Truth (Live)
For many people, over several generations, the celebration of the AdventChristmas-Epiphany season begins with the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival, a century-old tradition of the college. The first festival was a musical program for the college community, planned and directed by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf Music Department. The festival continues as an outgrowth of Christian conviction and an expression of the rich musical heritage at St. Olaf, a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The 2019 Christmas Festival features the St. Olaf Orchestra, St. Olaf Choir, St. Olaf Cantorei, St. Olaf Chapel Choir, Manitou Singers, Viking Chorus, and St. Olaf Handbell Choir, performing as both individual groups and as a massed ensemble.
In the beginning, God spoke creation into being. Through the prophets and the Psalmist and the great cloud of faithful witnesses, God spoke. In Jesus, God sings a new song of grace and truth.
This new song of grace rings clear through the noise of life. Through the noise that tells us that we are not good enough, the noise that produces guilt and shame, the noise that produces doubt in ourselves and in others and in God; this song of grace is heard. This song is one of forgiveness. This song is one of inclusion and acceptance. This is the new song of grace.
Through competing voices that blur into chaos, the new song of truth is heard. Voices from without and voices from within can confuse our very sense of self. This new song of truth, however, proclaims that we are beloved children of God. We are held in God’s eternal embrace; this is the new song of truth.
In Greek, the first letter of Christ and the first letter of grace is the same. Th ey both begin with the letter Chi, two simple crossed lines. With elegant simplicity, this gentle “X” is evident wherever we look, from the tiles on the floor to the rafters of the roof. The manger itself is a rustic construction built around this shape. It was a wooden “X” that held the Christ child.
We witness this new song today in scripture, music, and art. Our stage is set with imagery that depicts the reality of chaos and noise. To the far left and right, we see timbers that are fallen against one another: a path that is difficult to navigate. As we move toward the middle, the way forward begins to open up and we are guided by a star. At the center is a holy place, made of strong timbers and adorned with the cross: a representation of Christ, the new song of grace and truth!
St. Olaf College
St. Olaf College
challenges students to excel in the liberal arts, examine faith and values, and explore meaningful vocation in an inclusive, globally engaged community nourished by Lutheran tradition.
The Mission in Practice
“To excel in the liberal arts.” We aim to offer the best possible liberal arts education. We cultivate breadth and depth in the skills, knowledge, and capacities that help students flourish in whatever future emerges. Across the sciences, the humanities, and the arts, we pursue inquiry, imagination, and evidence wherever they lead. We celebrate learning and creativity in classrooms and labs, in concert halls and studios, in community settings and internships, in residence halls and on athletic fields.
“To examine faith and values.” The liberal arts involve underlying claims about what is ultimately meaningful and worthwhile. So we undertake explicit examination of faith and values. Our community includes people of many religions and no religion, and we impose no doctrinal filters on our teaching or scholarship. We create opportunities for academic and personal reflection on religious belief, including reasoned consideration of Christian faith and other traditions that engage questions of truth and meaning.
“To explore meaningful vocation.” The liberal arts also call us to direct our skills and knowledge toward the good. So we encourage purpose and hope in the discernment of what is worth doing. We challenge each other to connect the work we do and the many roles we fill to larger frameworks of meaning and value. We help students envision their futures and develop their talents to address the needs of their many communities.
“To be an inclusive community.” Excellence in the liberal arts is possible only when people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas come together in a spirit of mutual respect and inclusion. So we strive to be a place of welcome to all. This commitment is strengthened by our particular history. The founders of the college were immigrants from Norway who established a co-educational college long before that was commonplace. Their experience impels us to advance the ideal of a community where people of all backgrounds and identities belong.
“To be a globally engaged community.” Learning in the liberal arts is intrinsically global and pluralistic. So we emphasize learning in global contexts, and in direct relationships with people around the world. We seek and welcome students and scholars from many countries. We offer rich opportunities for international and domestic off-campus study connected to a curricular emphasis on language, culture, and place.
“To be nourished by Lutheran tradition.” All these commitments are reinforced by a Lutheran understanding that God’s love calls us to meet the world in generosity and service. We hear in this a summons to use the gifts of reason, creativity, and empathy to their fullest; to live in community with all people; to steward carefully the resources on which we depend; and to respond in good will to the needs of neighbour and planet.