Childcare will be available for ages 0–4. RSVP is requested for childcare, but not required.
“Let us read and mark in Holy Scripture the tale of the loving purposes of God from the first days of our disobedience unto the glorious Redemption brought us by this Holy Child; and let us make this church glad with our carols of praise.” Music sung by the Sanctuary Choir and Congregation, and accompanied by the Park Street Orchestra.
Seating will be limited to sanctuary capacity; we recommend arriving 30 minutes early in order to be sure of getting a seat. Overflow seating will be available in the Fellowship Hall.
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first sung in a wooden building which served as the first Truro Cathedral; it is said that the Rt. Reverend Edward White Benson, who originated the service in 1880, chose the time of 10:00 PM on Christmas Eve in order to “get the men out of the pubs early so they would not be drunk for the midnight service.” In 1918, Eric Milner-White, Dean of King’s College, Cambridge, adapted the service for use in the chapel at King’s. The service has remained virtually unchanged since that time, and has spread through all the world. The hymns and carols vary in each service (though it is traditional to begin with Once in Royal David’s City), but the readings and other spoken portions are always the same, even, traditionally, retaining the well-loved King James translation. The sound of the same words, year after year, becomes an echo of the unchanging significance and reality of the story. The music takes the role of reflecting on each text and exhorting the congregation. The tone of this worship service is both solemn and joyful, reflecting the intimidating grandeur of the story—from Fall to Incarnation—and rejoicing in the love of God and the redemption that is ours through Christ.