Second Presbyterian Church, 8th and Waller Streets, will bring the glory of Christmas to the community with the presentation of the “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” on Monday, December 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary. The traditional service, which alternates readings from the Holy Scriptures with carols and anthems of the season, will be led by the Rev. Allison Bauer, Pastor, and the church’s Chancel Choir.
The Chancel Choir will be accompanied by a full orchestra made up of regional orchestral musicians, as well as many local instrumentalists and Matt Bickett, organist. Numbering more than 80 participants, the choir and orchestra will be under the direction of Dr. Stanley Workman, Jr., Second Presbyterian Church Director of Music.
Included in the program will be carol and anthem selections by Barlow Bradford, Harold Darke, John Rutter, Mack Wilberg, and David Wilcocks. Featured will be five new carols and arrangements, four by Rutter and one by Wilberg, plus a new orchestral offertory by John Rutter. Readers will be drawn from area clergy, including Jeannie Harsh, Moderator of the Presbytery.
The public is cordially invited to the traditional sacred service, based upon the original yearly presentation from King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England, which brings the message of Christmas through scripture illuminated by seasonal music. Everyone is welcome to attend; a freewill offering will be taken to ensure the continuation of future musical events like this one.
The now traditional service was first held on Christmas Eve, 1918, at King’s College Chapel. Almost immediately other churches adapted the service for their own use. A wider audience began to grow when the service was first broadcast in 1928. With the exception of 1930, it has been broadcast annually, even during World War II. It is estimated that there are millions of listeners worldwide.