CHRISTMAS LESSONS & CAROLS
Sunday, December 18
4 p.m. in the Church
As we prepare for Christmas and the birth of Christ, join Saint Michael for this beloved and beautiful service, featuring nine Lessons and Carols. Together, they tell the story of the Christ child through scriptures, read by local dignitaries, and gorgeous choral-led carols. Join us as we continue this family favorite tradition.
ABOUT LESSONS & CAROLS
The service you will experience draws on a century-long tradition of King’s College, Cambridge in England. Featuring voices of all ages, this service tells the story of God’s faithfulness to His people through the course of history.
The first imaginings of a Christmas Lessons and Carols service took place in Truro, England in 1880 in a wooden shed that was serving as the cathedral while a new church was being constructed.
The Bishop of Truro, E.W. Benson, wanted to create a service that told the story of the Messiah clearly in a way that uneducated townspeople would understand. He wanted to make the story of Christ’s birth, the prophecies that foretold it, and the stories of the first witnesses, simple and approachable. To this day, the narrative nature of Christmas Lessons and Carols is one of its most enduring virtues.
By 1918 when King’s College, Cambridge designed their Lessons and Carols service, and again the following year, the readings and structure underwent some changes. Since 1928, King’s College has broadcast this service, and it can now be heard around the world every Christmas Eve. The service you will hear tonight is closely linked in form to the King’s College service.
One of the distinctive features of the English cathedral music tradition is that the highest lines of music are sung by children. This is true at King’s College, and it is true here at Saint Michael for much of tonight’s music. The beauty and purity of childrens’ voices is uniquely suited to telling the story of Christ’s birth. As Jesus, the savior of the world, arrived in a weak, vulnerable form, so the voices of our youngest singers shine a light on this moment in a particularly profound way.
We would be so delighted to welcome you to this new Service of Christmas Lessons and Carols, hoping the journey through reading and music warms your heart, and brings you peace, enriching your holiday.