Nine Lessons and Carols
at St. Andrew’s
The traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols for Christmas in St. Andrew’s, Kyrenia, will take place on Wednesday 21st December, the service will begin at 7.30 pm.
Mulled wine and mince pies will be served after the service. All are welcome!
Many people think that this service has ancient roots.
However we learn from Wikipedia:
“In 1878 the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported that the choir of Truro Cathedral would sing a service of carols at 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The Choir of the Cathedral will sing a number of carols in the Cathedral on Christmas Eve, the service commencing at 10pm. We understand that this is at the wish of many of the leading parishioners and others. A like service has been instituted in other cathedral and large towns, and has been much appreciated. It is the intention of the choir to no longer continue the custom of singing carols at the residences of members of the congregation.
Two years later, Edward Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury but at that time Bishop of Truro, in Cornwall, formalised the service with Nine Lessons for use on Christmas Eve (24 December) 1880. The first service took place at 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve in the temporary wooden structure serving as his cathedral whilst the new cathedral was being built. Over 400 people attended this first service. There is an oft-repeated myth that the purpose of the service was to keep men out of the pubs…..
The service has subsequently been in continuous use (with modifications) in Truro since 1880, and followed Bishop Benson in his new appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1883. In December 2013 Truro Cathedral staged a reconstruction of Bishop Benson’s original 1880 Nine Lessons with Carols Service which was attended by an audience of over 1,500 people.
The original liturgy has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the world. Lessons and Carols most often occur in Anglican churches [such as St. Andrew’s – Ed.]. However, numerous Christian denominations have adopted this service, or a variation on this service, as part of their Christmas celebrations. In the UK, the service has become the standard format for schools’ Christmas carol services.
The best-known version is broadcast annually from King’s College, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve. It features carols sung by the famous Choir of King’s College.”