This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, held at King’s College in Cambridge on Christmas Eve. KPAC listeners will be able to hear this historic broadcast on Christmas Eve at 9 a.m., hosted by Michael Barone. The service combines old and new hymns and carols with short Bible readings that tell the story of preparation for Christ’s birth.
In San Antonio, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church hosts its own service of Lessons and Carols, as do many churches in the Episcopal or Anglican tradition. Recorded on December 9, 2018, Texas Public Radio listeners will be able to hear this special broadcast on Saturday, December 22 at 7 p.m. on KPAC 88.3 FM in South Texas and KTXI 90.1 FM in the Hill Country as a part of TPR’s “Performance Saturday.”
St. Mark’s new organist and choirmaster, Jon Johnson, says there are some beautiful new melodies that are a part of the service, such as Andrew Carter’s “Mary’s Magnificat,” and a carol called “Comfort ye, my people” by Houston-based composer David Ashley White.
[Hear a preview of the Advent Lessons and Carols below]
Rev. Beth Knowlton, rector of St. Mark’s, says the annual Advent Lessons and Carols service is for her, one of the highlights of the year.
“It’s just amazing to hear that narrative of scripture and music woven so beautifully together, and to see the faces of all the people as they are leaving [the service. It’s] always particularly moving,” she explains. “This is a service that really, deeply impacts people. So the chance to offer that even more broadly on the radio is a real gift.”