Sunday morning music

In England in particular, but also elsewhere in the world on occasion, the tradition of a “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” at Christmas is well known.  I haven’t encountered it very often in the USA, but I thought my more traditionally minded readers might enjoy it:  so here’s Kings College, Cambridge, with their service from 1992.  It’s followed by a BBC documentary on the choir of Kings College.  The whole thing is about two hours long, so I suggest playing it as background theme music for the season while you’re busy with other tasks.



  1. Never heard of the nine lessons, not in the Baptist theology that I'm aware of, and the pitch they sing in is dog whistle range for me… sigh

  2. NFO—
    so many of us are hearing-impAired from too much shooting with inadequate er protection while young. Gotta just take it on faith that those youngsters are singin' purty. 😉

  3. I love this service. Lessons and Carols seems to have been imported from Episcopal/Anglican tradition to many of the evangelical churches in the northeast back when I was younger. It is a beautiful tradition using readings from Genesis, assorted prophecy (Isaiah, Micah) and readings from the gospels to tell the story of the Christ and his coming and our need for him. And it usually ends by reading John Chapter 1 Vs 1:14 which has to be one of the most profound and beautiful statements in scripture.

    Carols related to the texts are interspersed among the readings. The evangelical churches often reduce the number of readings and may stray away from the traditional ones, sometimes inserting different parts of the Christmas story or even a brief passage from Easter (as that is why we celebrate Christmas). Also some use modern praise songs in a few spots (e.g. Mary Did You Know) in place of traditional carols.

    Honestly I like as close to the original as possible. And yeah boy choirs are not to my taste, female Sopranos and Altos have much more warm and pleasant tones to my ears the boy choirs just sound shrill to me.

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