Lessons & Carols | Skillful Shepherds


Every single year, our church has a unique Sunday service in December referred to as “Lessons and Carols.” Ever wondered why we have this in our church calendar or what is the which means behind the service?

In 1880, Edward Benson, at that time Bishop of Truro in Cornwall but later Archbishop of Canterbury, produced, formalised and performed the service of carols with Nine Lessons. The service took spot at 10pm on Christmas Eve in a huge wooden structure becoming applied as a short-term cathedral as the primary Truro Cathedral was becoming rebuilt. More than 400 folks attended this 1st service. Considering the fact that then, the service has subsequently been in continuous use (with modifications) in Truro given that 1880. The original liturgy has given that been adapted and applied by other churches all more than the planet, occurring most normally in Anglican churches. Nevertheless, quite a few Christian denominations have adopted this service, or a variation of this service, as element of their Christmas celebrations.

A single of the most popular versions nowadays is the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge, featuring carols sung by the popular Choir of King’s College, and broadcast reside annually more than BBC Radio (and all more than the planet) at 3pm (UK time) on Christmas Eve. The service was 1st performed at King’s College in 1918 as a way of the college celebrating the finish of WWI. The new college dean, Eric Milner-White, who had been an Army Chaplain in WWI, wanted a diverse and far more optimistic way of celebrating Christmas for the choir and folks in the college.

A service of Nine Lessons and Carols commonly has nine Bible readings (or lessons), that inform the Christmas story, with 1 or two carols among every lesson. The opening verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ is typically sung by a single boy chorister or by the entire choir. The service has a profound dignity and simplicity. Every lesson follows the very same format: the passage of Scripture is study by a reader, followed by the singing of a carol reflecting on that passage of Scripture. The service traditionally entails nine readers, representing different age groups, societies, or roles inside the church. When the service consists of a sermon or meditation, it typically follows the ninth lesson, even though some spot it immediately after the eighth. The service concludes with a prayer and a blessing. The recessional and postlude that follows normally ends on a triumphant and joyful tone.

As we worship God in our Lessons and Carols service nowadays, let us genuinely reflect on the Christmas story of salvation told in these moving passages of Scripture, God sent His Son into this planet to reside a sinless, excellent life, to spend the penalty for our sins, and to acquire a spot for us in heaven, so that whoever believes, repents and calls on His name, the name of Jesus Christ, will be saved (Acts four:12).


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