Advent Lessons and Carols
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first celebrated at King's College, Cambridge on Christmas Eve, 1918. It was an adaptation of a similar service that had been written for the cathedral at Truro in 1880. The lessons were reordered in 1919, and what follows are the lessons that have been used since that time. At King's College, the Festival is a Christmas Eve service, and the lessons, and music, move deliberately from the season of Advent into Christmastide. Many other parishes have adopted the tradition, occasionally modifying it as needed. The complete service can be a bit lengthy, and it is not unusual to omit a lesson. The lesson texts presented here use the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, but at King's College, the Authorized Standard (also known as King James) Version is always used.