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Content about Carols

September 1, 2009

This service is modeled after the renowned “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” heard every Christmas Eve over BBC radio. It was first drawn up by Archbishop Benson when he was Bishop of Truro for use in that Cathedral. In 1918 it was simplified and modified for use in King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England, by Eric Milner-White, who, at age thirty-four, had just become dean of King’s College.

September 1, 1995

The gospel according to Matthew starts out with an unusual genealogy. Matthew takes pains to point out that Jesus' human family tree included not only Jews, but Gentiles, and not only upright heroes of the faith, but also those whose stories reveal some of the shameful and sordid part of the history of God's people.

This service of Lessons and Carols reviews that genealogy through the stories of the women of Scripture, including the five women specifically mentioned in Matthew 1.

September 1, 1994

The traditional service of nine lessons and carols traces the story of our salvation from the disobedience of Adam and Eve to the birth of Christ. In this service, following each carol, a symbol is brought forward. (You'll find the symbols in boldfaced type in the leader's readings.) Each of these symbols recall the lesson just read and also point to our redemption in Christ.

September 1, 1993

Instrumental Prelude (carol arrangements for organ and flute)

Processional: "Once in Royal Davids City" (English)
[PsH 346, PH 49, RL 201, TH 225, UMH 250, WC 161]

Welcome and Prayer

[Leader to improvise words of welcome to the congregation; then to lead in prayer:]

September 1, 1991

Listed on these pages are carols and hymns suitable for each of the nine Scripture lessons of the traditional English evening service. Begun by Dean Eric Milner-White in 1918 at King's College Chapel in Cambridge, England, the service of lessons and carols takes place in that chapel at Vespers on Christmas Eve to this day.

The lessons trace salvation history from Genesis through the gospels. After each lesson a carol or hymn is sung, either by the congregation or by a choir. Sometimes two carols are sung after one lesson.

September 1, 1986

Every year more North American congregations are discovering the beauty of a traditional English service called, very simply, "Nine Lessons and Carols." The structure of the service is as simple as the title: nine passages of Scripture are followed by nine carols. But the content of those readings and the traditional way of conducting the service have become very meaningful to many congregations.