A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is the beginning of the Christmas season at the College Chapel
Tickets are not required. This concert is free and open to the public.
The prelude will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the service beginning at 7 p.m.
Seating is limited to 700 individuals and is available on a first come, first served basis. A shuttle service will operate from various campus parking lots, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The service includes carols and readings from the Bible. The opening carol is always 'Once in Royal David's City', and there is always old favorite carols and exciting new arrangements.
This will be the 35th year that the service has been held at Catawba. It is patterned after the “Nine Lessons and Carols” service associated with King’s College in Cambridge, England, that started in 1918. That service is broadcast worldwide by the BBC.
Origins of the service are attributed to Truro Cathedral in Cornwell, England, dating to 1880. The bishop, the Rev. Edward White Benson, was concerned at the excessive consumption of alcohol in Cornish pubs during the festive season. He sought a means of attracting revelers out of the pubs and into church by offering a religious celebration of Christmas with Christmas music interspersed with Bible readings. The first service was held on Christmas Eve at Truro Cathedral with 400 people attending.