Advent Lessons and Carols

Possibly the best-known Christmas service in the Western world is the festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. This service celebrates the birth of Jesus by telling the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus in a series of short readings from the Bible. The readings are interspersed with carols, choral music, and congregational singing of hymns. The format for this service originated in England in 1918 at King’s College, Cambridge, England, and thus began a tradition that is now almost 100 years old. This service has been adapted by many churches all over the world as part of their Christmas worship. A candle-lit service of Advent Lessons and Carols at the Church of the Transfiguration opens the season of Advent with readings, prayers, and carols sung by Gloriæ Dei Cantores.