Join Us for Taft’s 87th Service of Lessons and Carols: Tuesday, December 12

Students, faculty, neighbors, and friends are invited to gather in celebration Tuesday, December 12, 2023, during Taft's 87th Service of Lessons and Carols. Two services will be held in Woodward Chapel: the first begins at 6 pm, the second at 8 pm. A reception in the Chapel's undercroft will follow the 8 pm service, and feature refreshments and festive music performed by Taft's Jazz Ensemble.

The services will include Nativity readings by faculty, staff, and students, and seasonal music from Collegium Musicum, the Chamber Ensemble, and the Woodward Brass Ensemble, conducted by Bruce Fifer and T.J. Thompson.

Lessons and Carols services are celebrated throughout the world in anticipation of the holiday season. The traditional format originated on Christmas Eve, 1880 in Cornwall England. According to the BBC, Edward Benson, then the Bishop of Truro (later the Archbishop of Canterbury), crafted the worship service as a means of keeping "men out of pubs on Christmas Eve."

Today, Lessons and Carols are most frequently associated with the annual service at Kings College, Cambridge, UK. The Kings College Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols tells the Christmas story through nine lessons, with a carol or two between each one. The program features the renowned Choir of King's College, and is broadcast each year on Christmas Eve. The Service was first performed at King's College in 1918 in celebration of the end of the First World War.

The program at Taft also marks the close of the fall term. All are welcome to share in the celebration.

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