Monday, December 20, 2010

Descriptions of St. Philip's Christmas Services

A girl named lucyjubilate from the Dreams forum got to go to St. Philip's Church for Evensong on December 5. She said,

"There were only around 15 people. On the 5th it was not the full choir, the men's choir was missing and only less than 20 boys presented (if I remembered right, the boys who presented were: Stefan, Daniel, Ralph, Henry, Luke, Freddie, Kavana, Jakob, Sam Leggett, Alex, Sammy, Matthew RA, Cassius, Carlos, Dylan Duffy, Mine or Sere Akbopome and the boy sitting between Tom and Ralph on Peace leaflets). But the boys did a great job all the same! Stefan and Daniel's high notes were quite amazing. And in one song which emphasized the lower parts I could hear Sam's voice clearly! He sounded really great so it's a pity we did not have the chance to listen to his solos on CDs. The only thing worried me was Ralph seemed to got his left leg hurt and was carrying walking sticks... and Jakob holding the music book together with him while singing. Hope he's much better when I see him tomorrow. I also saw Eleanor that day, she said one prayer and helped to collect donations. Mr Prizeman directed the boys and played the piano, he also played the organ at the end of the service and it was really beautiful!"

They have had a lot of snow in London which has made it difficult to travel. Yesterday morning's service was attended by paul30003, and he wrote,

"Well after a much delayed journey, I arrived at St Phillips at about 9.40 am, just 5 minutes before morning mass was about to start. I received a warm welcome, (I think my presence was especially welcomed as there was very few people at the service.) The church had a special guest, The Bishop of Croydon.

The service began and the choir stepped out from the vestibule, present where only 3 older members that I could recognise, they were, Josh Madine, EDIT: (I think it was Josh with very long hair.) Sam Coates, and Callum Payne. Bit disappointed that no other current members where there, but was hopeful for the evening service. The adult choir sounded wonderful, and was conducted by Mr Prizeman."

Lucy also went to the morning service yesterday, and she wrote,

"As for the morning service, this time only part the men's choir presented. Both Big Ben and Simon Lewis sounded brilliant with their solos. They sang Agnus Dei and Creator of the Starry Height, which had exactly the same tunes as Libera'a Agnus Dei and Sempiterna, but the lyrics were different. So those two Libera songs sourced from two traditional hymns? Or are the two traditional hymns also writtern by Mr Prizeman?

Then Lucy got to go to their Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols last night! She said,

"Hello guys! I'm back to my place from Norbury and I did have a great time! The service was awesome! Forgive me if you feel I am taking it as a Christmas carols concert... lol

I arrived at the church around 6:00pm and sat in the third line on the left half. By the time the service began the church was almost full and most of those attended were the boys' families. Mr Prizeman began to play the organ by 6:15 and the service started a little bit later than 6:30. As I have imagined the choir was almost "full" today. Everyone was there except Mini Ben... maybe he's too busy with school or failed to come for the bad weather. Jonathan, Liam and Tiarnan were wearing men's choir's robes and they looked quite handsome in them. It seemed Michael H was there but he got his hair cut I could hardly recognize him... Oh, and Ralph's leg is OK now for he could walk normally. Henry seemed to have caught a cold so he did not join the choir and sat among the audiences.

The nine lessons was about the Genesis and the born (birth) of Jesus Christ. Nine different people read different parts from the Holy Bible. And two of the readings were done by Sammy and the new boy Barney! And he sounded quite good. The others who did the readings seemed to be the families or local people. I counted the porgramme and they sang 17 carols in total! And we joined the choir to sing 5 (Once in Royal David's city, O little town of Bethlehem, Silent night, While shepherds watched and O come all ye faithful) of them. It feels quite good to sing together with the boys! Stefan, Ralph, Jakob and Daniel did most of the high notes. And the men's choir sounded brilliant, too. In one song (The angel Gabriel) Josh sang the solo with his low voice and it was really beautiful! The service lasted for about one hour and a half.

After the service a nice lady sat behind me asked me whether I enjoyed it (so she recognized I'm a Libera fan, lol). And this lady was Tiarnan's grandmother! She was really really nice and encouraged me to say hello to her grandson. But I know this was not a Libera concert so I asked her to introduce me... and she did! So this was the first time I ever spoke in person to one of the boys (hope I can go to a M&G someday...). And the boys' families are soooo nice and understanding.

So this is all that I can remember. And this will be one of the best memory I have ever had."

The songs that they sang for Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols -

Conditor Alme Siderum (this hymn had the same tune as Libera's Sempiterna but with different lyrics)

Once In Royal David's City

Angel Tidings

As Joseph Was A-Walking by Terry

Hodie by Sweelinck


There Is No Rose by Britten

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Lully Lullah (same lyrics with the famous Coventry Carol but a different tune, and Ralph's solo and high notes here were amazing)

O Magnum Mysterium by Lauridsen

Silent Night

The Angel Gabriel

And the Glory of the Lord by Handel from Messiah

Poor Little Jesus

While Shepherds Watched

Shepherd's Pipe Carol by Rutter

Mary's Lullaby by Rutter

O Come All Ye Faithful

I can't imagine getting to go to that Christmas carols service! To sing along with them would be heavenly! What a great start to the Christmas season. Makes you remember that Christmas isn't about shopping and gifts, baking cookies or a big Christmas dinner. It's a special time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!  :)

Our nativity scene


  1. Hi Lexi this is Lucy, thank you for posing my reprots here, I'm glad you liked them and I enjoyed this wonderful blog of yours for a long time! Thank you so much!

    But it seemed I caused you a little confusion. I met Tiarnan's grandmother and said hello to him after the Christmas service instead of the morning encharist. I think most of the people who attended the Nine lessons were the choir's families and friends. That's why Libera fans like me were so easy to recognize. lol

  2. Hi, Lucy!!! Thank YOU for your awesome reports! You are so lucky to live in London! What a great way to celebrate Christmas! And, thank you, I will fix the order of the copy. Hope to meet you at a concert someday in the UK or US! :D

  3. Lucy and Paul, you were most fortunate to attend those services at St. Philips Church, to experience the beautiful music of the Libera boys and the rest of the choir, and to enter into a beautiful service of celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. I'm sure it was spiritually humbling and fulfilling, and I'm truly happy for your experiences! Thank you both for your descriptions.

  4. Yes this was the best memory I have ever had for Christmas! And if you are going to the Epson concert next March you'll see me there. Hope I can meet you for I always love your posts in this blog! :D

  5. So glad you like the blog! I wish I could go to Epsom. I have a big competition that Thursday and Friday I have to go to. My big piece is Classical Piano, but I also have Classical Piano Duet, Piano/Organ Duet, other singing & instrumental combos, Handbells, Duet Acting, Readers Theater, etc. It'd be hard to miss when we've practiced all year and other people are counting on you.

    I'm still clinging to the hope that the Epsom concert poster was not a mistake - "Prior to US Tour." If they come in April, it may conflict with Nationals competition in South Carolina (if we place 1st in anything). It uses up my Easter vacation, but I'll do my best to be at any concerts they have!

    Hope to get to visit London...someday... :)

  6. Hi Lexi!

    This is the first post i'm posting on your blog, even if I'm reading it for quite a while. I'm from Belgium and heard Libera for the first time a few months ago on the concert DVD in Leiden (Netherlands). It was an amazing experience. So amazing I moved heaven and earth to see the UK autumn tour in London. Me and 2 friends left Belgium at 6pm and arrived at 7.15pm. Right on time for the concert. I wish I lived in London to hear them more often! I've been singing in the only boys choir we have in Belgium 'Cantate Domino' when I was 12 years old untill last year. I can only say that Libera is great and it's cool to have updates on them when I read your blog! Keep up the good work. Have a nice christmas period!

  7. Wow! So you are a musician, Lexi! I cannot play any musical instruments... Good luck with your competitions! Pity I cannot see you at Epsom. :(

  8. Hi, Colin! That is so cool that you got to go to London to see them. You're a great fan! They're really amazing in concert! Wow! You were in a boys' choir! You're famous, too! Did you record any CD's? I'll have to look your choir up! Thanks for reading the blog! :)

    Thank you, Lucy! Please let us know how the Epsom concert goes. I know they don't seem to do M&G's in the UK, but we'd love to hear all about it and see any pics you take! Hopefully we'll get to see you another time. :)

  9. hello i am jenna i am so ecied u all when to london hi luciy nice to meet u what was it like when ui met the boys??

  10. wow! this is the whole program of the christmas service? i wonder what tomorrow's video will look like
    btw, lexi, did you receive my new blog link?

  11. Hi, Charmaine! That's a list of the songs. There were Scripture readings in between also. The whole service was about 90 minutes long. What an awesome church service! I know! I am so hoping they have a Christmas video of SOME sort. Maybe they filmed it before or after the church service since they were all together. And I LOVE your new blog. Loved the description of your trip to Cowboy Town! I've been to Texas and would love to see your's and compare them! :)

  12. oh i see. it's like a normal church service. as for my blog, check back for more updates. the cowboy town is quite small but it looks like texas because of the designs and all. there's a show every night. maybe when you visit malaysia, you can go there :)

  13. @Lexi
    no I'm not famous :). The choir has a website We've recorded quite a bit CD's, you'll find them on the website. You know in 2006 and 2007 we had a concerttour in Korea and Japan and sung in places that Libera also performed. In 2006 we toured in Atlanta and Canada, so I know how it feels to give concerts in foreign countries. I hope the boys in Libera really enjoy theirs. But enough about Cantate, this is a Libera blog ;).

  14. hi lexi. how are you? been busy for a while - shopping and all for christmas, that i missed dropping by your blog. as always, you have some surprises for us libera fans. thanks to lucy for sharing her wonderful church service attended by the choirboys. it was awesome! i wish you both and your families a joyful christmas!!

  15. Hi Lucy, thanks for this report - especially for that piece of information about Barney Lindsell - since I haven't got myself to attend their recent concerts (in Bristol, Chester, London and Beverley) I couldn't recognise him at all.
    Btw, they sang another piece of music the programme doesn't mention, between Lully Lullah and the 4th lesson. No idea what's its title and who the composer is.

  16. Colin - that's so great that you got to tour around the world, and yes you sang on CD's! Awesome! :)

    Hi, Mrs. Guzman! Thank you! Hope you have a great Christmas also! :)

    Giipuh Vyjnuj - Are you George from the Russian blog? If so, we were just reading your blog yesterday! You wrote an excellent description of the 9 Lessons service. Some of it gets lost in Google Translator for me, but I understand most of it. lol Thanks for stopping by here! :)

  17. Hi George! This is Lucy. Many thanks for your wonderful report! I managed to read it with Google translator. (Oh we are using your blog as a chatting room Lexi. lol) I also noticed that unknow piece... maybe they added it not long before the service began. It was quite short but very beautiful!
    As for Barney please thank people from the French forum. They were the first who helped us to recognize the two new boys Barney and Dylan. :D

  18. --> "As for Barney please thank people from the French forum."

    Well, render unto Caesar what is Caesar's ;)
    The information source is a person from the english forum Libera Dreams :)

  19. I'm really grateful to be able to hear about the Libera Christmas services, as I'm not able to attend them myself, but hearing about Lucy and Paul's experiences give me some idea of how it was, and it sounds wonderful.

    Lucy - you are so lucky that you got to meet Tiarnan and speak with his grandmother. It must be very nice to sit next to the boys' families and feel their love ;)

    George - I think it's great that you went all the way to London with your friends. Maybe I will go to their concert in Epsom in March, if I have time and money (and my parents' approval!)

    Btw I have never heard of Barney and Dylan before, are there any pictures of them on the internet yet?

  20. Fan de LoK - thank you for clarifying that. The Dreams and French forums get along together very well. And you just quoted part of a Bible verse! Nice! :)

    Keekii - there are pictures of Barney & Dylan here on the Mini-Angels blog. Go to "Bristol Concerts Pics" Oct. 28 and "Eternal Light SOP Video" Nov. 21. There are also several UK concert videos done that show them. :)

  21. Dear Lucy, Thank you so much for posting your thoughts on the magnificent Libera/St. Phillips choirs. We in the US who are great fans love to see and hear about them, and of course that they are doing well and thriving. Their music feeds the soul and makes one smile. Keep up the good work and Christmas Blessings to you and the young men of Libera and St. Phillips! LINDA

  22. Wow!

    Searching for Libera / St Philips info, and I come across my few words about my visit to St Philips.

    I'm there for morning mass tomorrow (Jan 08 2011)

    If I have any info on the boys and who are there ill post to dreams forum.

  23. Hi, Paul! Hope you enjoy going to church there! Will watch the forum to see what you say! :D