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Advent Lessons & Carols
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Christ Church Women’s Ensemble, Men’s Ensemble, and Common Ground singers present a service of Advent Lessons and Carols, featuring scripture readings, special music, and congregational singing, to help us all get into the spirit of the Advent season.
The Festival of Lessons and Carols was first held on Christmas Eve 1918. It was planned by Eric Milner-White, who, at the age of thirty-four, had just been appointed Dean of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. After his experience as an army chaplain Dean Milner-White had convinced himself that the Church of England needed more imaginative worship.
A revision of the Order of Service was made in 1919, involving rearrangement of the lessons, and from that date the service has always begun with the hymn ‘Once in Royal David’s City’. In almost every year the choice of carols has varied, and some new ones have been introduced.
The backbone of the service, the lessons, and the prayers, has remained virtually unchanged. Almost immediately other churches adapted the service for their own use. A wider frame began to grow when the service was first broadcast in 1928.
Wherever the service is heard and however it is adapted, the pattern and strength of the service derive from the lessons. The main theme is the development of the loving purposes of God seen through the windows and the words of the Bible and responded to in song. The heart of the service is still found by those who ‘go in heart and mind’ and who consent to follow where the story leads.
-adapted from the Lessons & Carols Service Booklet, King’s College, Cambridge, U.K.