The Westminster Chancel Choir will lead us in a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The structure of this 75-minute, alternative worship service is based on services led by the King’s College Choir and conducted annually at their chapel in Cambridge since 1918.
The creator of the original Cambridge service described it in this way: “Its liturgical order and pattern is the strength of the service; the main theme is the development of the loving purposes of God, from the Creation to the Incarnation, through the windows and words of the Bible: the scriptures, not the carols, are the backbone.”
This service is rich with musical offerings, many of which are drawn from the English carol tradition. However, as with all worship services at Westminster, the faithful expression of God’s word is our primary focus. In this service especially, the music—the handmaid of the liturgy—is our response to God’s word proclaimed. In this Festival, we have an opportunity to respond to God’s word through carols and choral compositions from the 4th to the 21st centuries, which exhibit our rich heritage of Christmas music. The service will be enriched by organ, piano, harp, and handbell accompaniments. The congregation will also join in singing several carols. Please invite a friend to join you for this special service of worship at Westminster.
Joe Chrisman, Minister of Music