Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Sunday, December 17 at 4:00 pm

Organ Prelude begins at 3:30 pm

Free parking and admission


The Cathedral Arts Choral Artists and selected readers unfold the Christmas narrative with familiar choral settings and scriptural accounts, according to a beloved pattern established in 1918 by King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. The service includes music of Walton, Goldschmidt, Leighton, Gardner, Howells, and Whitacre.

All are welcome.
Invite a friend – It may be the best gift you can give them!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the Prophetic Books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music.

The format was based on an Order drawn up in 1880 by Edward White Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury but at that time Bishop of Truro, Cornwall, for use on Christmas Eve. Tradition says that he organized a 10 pm service in a temporary wooden shed serving as his cathedral, and that a key purpose of the service was to keep men out of pubs on Christmas Eve!

The original liturgy has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the world. Lessons and Carols most often occur in Anglican churches, but also in some Roman Catholic parishes, Lutheran parishes and Presbyterian institutions. Numerous Christian churches have adopted this service, or a variation, as part of their Christmas celebrations.

In the UK, the service has become the standard format for school Christmas carol services. The best-known version is the annual Christmas Eve broadcast from King’s College, Cambridge, featuring carols sung by the renowned King’s College Choir. Groton School in Massachusetts has performed the festival longer than any institution other than King’s College, holding its first Lessons and Carols in 1928.

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