Lower School Celebrates Christmas During 40th Lessons and Carols Services

The Lower School had its 40th Christmas celebration of Lessons and Carols with two services on Wednesday and two on Thursday in the St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. The service included Bible readings, carols, musical performances and dance performances.

Lessons and Carols is one of St. Margaret’s oldest traditions, starting the school’s first year in December 1979. During this year’s Thursday evening service, St. Margaret’s alumni as well as current Upper and Middle School students who participated in Lessons and Carols during their time in the Lower School returned to surprise Susan Remsberg, who helped create and has organized the service since its inception. Mrs. Remsberg is retiring at the end of this school year, and Thursday was her final Lessons and Carols service as its leader.
During the final song of the evening service, the visiting students and alumni processed into Chapel led by Liam McGregor ‘15 and Gavin Clarke ’18 carrying a special Commencement flower arch decorated in Christmas colors. The flower arch has significant meaning at St. Margaret’s—they have only ever been created to adorn the walkway of Tartan graduates at the school’s 33 Commencement ceremonies, with one other exception to honor the life of St. Margaret’s founder Father Ernest Sillers in 2009.
St. Margaret’s alumni and older students then passed under the archway with lit candles and assembled at the front of the congregation. With generations of Lessons and Carols participants nearby, Father James Livingston invited Mrs. Remsberg from behind the piano where she sat for 40 years to front-center, to honor and thank her on behalf of the entire St. Margaret’s community for her dedicated work organizing and directing one of St. Margaret’s most beloved traditions. The love and appreciation for Mrs. Remsberg was palpable as the entire congregation simultaneously erupted into a joyous and prolonged standing ovation.

You can view the Lessons and Carols photo gallery from the Wednesday service by 
clicking here, and from the Thursday service by clicking here
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California