Skip to content

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols


A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Sunday, December 3

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will be presented by the Chancel Choir on Sunday, December 3 at 5:00pm. The Chancel Choir and readers from the church continue this long-time tradition of anthems, hymns, and scriptures.  

History of Lessons and Carols
The service of Lessons and Carols originated with a Christmas Eve service of Lessons and Carols at Truro Cathedral in the late nineteenth century. In 1918, Eric Milner-White, the new dean of King’s College Chapel at Cambridge, England wanted to try something innovative for the celebration of Christmas.  He went beyond the standard liturgy of the Church of England and wove together scripture and song.  Milner-White asked readers from school and town to read the scriptures.  The singing was divided into hymns sung by the congregation/choir and carols sung by the choir.  This service was called A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and was held on Christmas Eve.  A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carolswas first broadcast on the British Broadcasting Company in 1928.  In 1934, Kings College adapted the service for use in Advent and later Advent adaptions of the Lessons and Carols services appeared in a variety of forms and contexts. Today, it is estimated there are millions of listeners worldwide who hear this yearly production at King’s College.  Also, choirs of churches and colleges throughout the world present Milner-White’s service during the Advent and Christmas seasons.