Advent Lessons & Carols
815 E. Grace Street
Join us for a beautiful choral liturgy, which includes scripture readings alternating between carols and hymns, preparing the way for Christmas.
A festive reception will be held after the service. Childcare will be available.
In-person and live-streamed.
In 1934, sixteen years after he had introduced to King’s College, Cambridge the Festival of Lessons and Carols for Christmas Eve, Dean Eric Milner-White, composed a further service, a service of Advent Lessons and Carols. This move was brought about by his concern for more imaginative forms of worship. The new service was so well suited to the Chapel that Lydia Lopokova (ballerina and wife of John Maynard Keynes, then of King’s) commented ‘Now we know why the Dean is such a lover of ballet: he is the best choreographer of us all.’
Milner-White wrote of it: “In the old English liturgies, the Advent Offices made a preparation for the coming of our Lord to this earth far more vivid and eager than those of our present Prayer book. The purpose of the service is not to celebrate Christmas, but to expect it.”
The liturgy alternates lessons from the Old and the New Testaments with carols and hymns, finally climaxing in St. Matthew’s Gospel, in which the angel brings the news that Mary will bring forth a son, “and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”