Most years, before we partake of Holy Communion on the Christmas Day service, our congregation participates in a Festival of Lessons & Carols service. For many of us, that is a Christian tradition unfamiliar to us. The following will hopefully make you more acquainted with this wonderful liturgy. Join us on Christmas Day at 9am to participate in this wonderful worship!
“Keeping Christianity in Christmas: A Festival of Lessons and Carols”
In the typical “Battle for Christmas” banter, we hear a lot about keeping Christ in Christmas, and preserving Christmas as a Christian “holy day.” Jesus is the reason for the season, and all that.
But as a pastor, I think the far bigger battle for believers is keeping Christmas — and Christ — in Christianity. The true spirit of Christmas is something that most of our churches could use far more of, fifty-two Sundays a year. The trick is to cut through all the sentimental crap and grasp this holiday’s essential value for deepening our Christian faith.
This Sunday evening, our church will celebrate Christmas with our annual “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” (or just Lessons and Carols), a traditional Christmas Eve liturgy first celebrated at King’s College Cambridge in 1918. While this service is beautiful and moving, it is a highlight of our church year because it teaches a simple and profound truth simply: that the coming of Christ fulfills the central promise of the Bible.
Almost 20 years ago, my husband and I began a new family tradition that has continued to this day. On the morning of Christmas Eve, we gather the children and sit, pajama-clad, in the family room to listen to “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,” broadcast live from King’s College in Cambridge, England…
If you have never attended a Lessons and Carols service, here are five reasons to do so this year, either at a local congregation, or thanks to the wonders of technology, on the other side of the ocean.
You will: hear God’s Word, singing which is good, unite with Christians, be transported, and remember the meaning of Christmas.