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A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

The Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys sing A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with music for brass and organ beginning at 2:30 PM.

Loved by millions, the Festival of Nine Lesson and Carols is a traditional part of the run-up to Christmas for many families.

The original service was devised by E. W. Benson, the first Bishop of Truro and later Archbishop of Canterbury.

According to his son A. C. Benson (who wrote the words to Elgar's 'Land of Hope and Glory'), his father "arranged from ancient sources a little service for Christmas Eve – nine carols and nine tiny lessons, which were read by various officers of the Church, beginning with a chorister, and ending, through the different grades, with the Bishop."

It was Eric Milner-White, Dean of King's College Cambridge, who brought the service to the masses beginning in 1918. Deciding the Festival would be more uplifting than Evensong on Christmas Eve, he set up the Festival as an annual occurrence at King's College Chapel and achieve instant popularity, spreading his new idea to schools, chapels and churches around the world.

*Please arrive early to ensure available seating.