Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols Sunday, Dec. 22
Above, children and youth of St. Andrew’s present a Nativity tableau during last Advent’s presentation of the Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols. This year’s presentation will be on Sunday, Dec. 22, during the 9 a.m. worship service. Parents who wish for their children or teens to participate, as well as young adults of the church, can sign up using the form below.
The St. Andrew’s Choir, along with children and youth of St. Andrew’s, will present the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols during the Liturgy of the Word at the 9 a.m. service on the last Sunday in Advent, Dec. 22. This will be our fourth presentation of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a wonderful addition to our Advent observance that has been enthusiastically received each year.
While the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is an Anglican Advent tradition that dates back to 1880, our presentation will have a decidedly St. Andrew’s flavor to the service with the involvement of our youth and children. Many of our youth will be reading the lessons, and our children will present a Nativity tableau, bringing alive the Christmas story.
Edward White Benson, later to become the Archbishop of Canterbury, designed the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in 1880 for use on Christmas Eve in Cornwall, England. In 1918, King’s College in Cambridge, England began performing the Festival of Lessons and Carols each year, and in the United States, the Groton School in Massachusetts has been performing the festival annually since 1928.
Performances of the Nine Lessons and Carols have since become an Advent tradition throughout much of the Anglican Communion. The festival tells the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus through nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols and hymns.