St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 6807 Northumberland Highway, Heathsville, will hold a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at 5:30 p.m. December 22. Seating will begin at 5 p.m.
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service that tells the story beginning with Adam’s expulsion from the garden, to the promise of a Messiah, culminating in the birth of Jesus and ending with the revelation of the mystery of the incarnation, reported church treasurer Ellen Kirby. This story is told through the reading of passages from the Bible interspersed with the singing of carols.
The first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was held in 1878 at Truro Cathedral in England on Christmas Eve. The service today is typically associated with King’s College, Cambridge which first held the service in 1918. The service has been held at King’s College, Cambridge every year on Christmas Eve since then. Today, many cathedrals in England and the United States hold the Festival during the Christmas season.
The carols will be sung by a quartet: Dr. Cheryl Davis, soprano; Thomas Tutwiler, counter-tenor; Dr. Andrew West, tenor; and Dr. Mac Lambert, bass. The featured organist will be Denise Cromer. The audience will be invited to sing along with certain carols.
St. Stephen’s also will conduct Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m. December 24 and a Christmas service at noon, December 25.