First Presbyterian Church of River Forest Announces Lenten Concert on March 3

"Lighten Our Darkness: An Afternoon of Musical Reflection" features Gabriel Fauré's Requiem
RIVER FOREST, Ill. - Feb. 13, 2024 - PRLog -- The First Presbyterian Church of River Forest today announced a Lenten concert, Lighten Our Darkness: An Afternoon of Musical Reflection. The concert will be held on Sunday, March 3, at 4:00 pm at the church, located at 7551 Quick Avenue in River Forest. First Pres River Forest is wheelchair and hearing accessible.

Lighten Our Darkness is a concert of music for choir, soloists, instrumentalists, and congregation. The focus of the concert comes from a hymn by The Right Reverend Timothy Dudley Smith. It speaks of Christian hope even in the darkest of times.

Featured on the program will be Requiem by French composer Gabriel Fauré. Like the Dudley Smith hymn, this requiem is unique in that its focus is not the full Mass for the Dead, but the peace and promise we have in Jesus Christ. Fauré himself said, "I have … sought to escape from what is thought [liturgically] right and proper… I wanted to write something different."

In addition to Requiem there will be solo and choral music as well as congregational singing. Under the direction of Dr. M. Jane Holstein, director of music ministries, the First Pres choir will be joined by renowned Chicagoland soprano Elizabeth Harrison and baritone David John Hailey, the pastor of First Baptist Church, Oak Park. Also participating will be a chamber orchestra and organists Josh Ring and Paul Detterman. The concert is free and a freewill offering will be taken which will be divided equally between concert expenses and support for the resettlement of refugee families in the area.

As Christians begin the season of Lent, it is our hope that the music and texts included in this performance will offer hope and assurance, and will lighten our darkness with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

For more information, contact the church office at (708) 366-5822 or, or visit our website at

About First Presbyterian Church of River Forest

First Presbyterian Church of River Forest has been an integral part of the River Forest community since 1887. First Pres, serving communities from Chicago to Elmhurst, is dedicated to growing as apprentices of Jesus Christ to reflect God's love.

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