Don't know much about the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols? Well, here you go!
It's held all over the world, and (according to Wiki), the format is based on an Order drawn up by Edward White Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, for Christmas Eve (24 December) 1880 in Truro, Cornwall. It has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the world. In the UK, the service has become the standard format for schools' Christmas carol services.
The best-known version is broadcast annually from King's College, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve. It features carols by the famous Choir of King's College, Cambridge, and is broadcast on BBC Worldwide.
My dear British friend wrote to me about this service that it is "a little more than special to me." This was the service her grandparents hauled her to every year. She remembers "English winter - cold, bitterly cold, many times snow, no automobile, we walked to church. Church had candles, no electricity..." It is indeed a spare, holy, and joyous festival.
If you would like to participate in such a service and don't have one in mind, I suggest that you Google your local (area) newspaper and search on "Lessons and Carols." It is likely to be held in Episcopal, Anglican, Lutheran or Roman Catholic churches. And if you can't find one, try to make time to listen to the BBC World Service's live Christmas Eve broadcast from King's College Cambridge, to be held at 15:00 on December 24 (that comes out to 8 am in my neck of the woods...) What? you say? you're a pastor and can't be sitting around listening to the radio on Christmas Eve? Well, you can buy a recording of last year's service here.
In RevGals Lessons and Carols News:
Leah Sophia attended Lessons and Carols at the University of San Diego's Founders Chapel on Sunday and writes about it here, and
I sang with my Annunciaton Episcopal church choir in our version of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, too. You can read about my experience of it at my place.
And on a slightly different note, tra la la: Sally writes here about moving from Advent to Christmas.
So...have you been to a Lessons and Carols service, St. Lucia service, St. Nicholas Mass....Longest Night or Blue Christmas service? or other special Christmas celebration? Or just what is it you are thinking, blogging, sermonizing about?
Please share with us in the comments. If you want to link to your blog on this, remember the formulation: <a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a>