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Lessons & Carols Worship Service

Worship Advent

The event is free and everyone is invited. Special performances will be provided by William and Mary’s Brass Quintet and Women’s Chorus, and the Westminster Ringers of Williamsburg Presbyterian Church.

Students, faculty, and staff will join campus ministers in reading biblical passages appropriate to the season with carols and hymns sung by the congregation interspersed among the readings, as well as special music. The service will conclude with the singing of “Silent Night” by candlelight.

The Festival of Lessons and Carols is one of the most beloved traditions of Advent and Christmas. The service of nine lessons and carols was first conceived by Archbishop Benson for use in Truro Cathedral in the late nineteenth century. It was simplified and adapted for use in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, in 1918, by Dean Eric Milner-White. Advent carol services were essentially adaptations of the basic pattern, originating in schools and colleges where it was not possible to celebrate Christmas during term-time.

Today many different versions of these services may be found in local churches and universities throughout the United States and the world. The order of service to be used for the College’s service is adapted from the King’s College Chapel version.

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