“Lessons and Carols” on Sunday, Dec. 17 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Old St. Joseph Church will alternate nine Scripture readings with various Advent and Christmas carols, tracing God’s promise of salvation to humankind from Old Testament prophecies foretelling Christ’s coming to the unfolding of the Annunciation and culminating in the great moment of the Incarnation of Christ.

It is the interplay between Scripture readings and sacred music that is meant to touch our emotions and spiritual sensitivities beyond what can be understood in simple human concepts. For words and sounds can help us to approach the transcendent mystery of the divine, if God so moves our souls with his grace. And so the majestic language of the Scriptures and the artistic force of the music truly become instruments of grace.

This event is free and open to the public. A free will offering will graciously be accepted, and a reception will follow.

Old St. Joseph’s is located at 321 Willings Alley in the Old City section of Philadelphia.