". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lessons and Carols

It has become a tradition for our family to listen to the King's College Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast live from Cambridge, England on Christmas Eve. We typically sleep in a bit later than usual in preparation for the busy night ahead. Then we wake up and have a special family breakfast (meaning that I actually cook something instead of letting everyone fend for themselves) before settling in to listen to the broadcast. Although as we listen it is still Christmas Eve morning in the United States, the faithful across the sea are already beginning their Christmas celebration, and for me there is always something mystical in that realization and in the knowledge that at any given time in the 24 hours of Christmas Eve and Day someone somewhere will be worshipping the newborn King.

If you have never treated yourself to this musical feast, consider doing so this year. The service of Lessons and Carols begins with the Genesis account of the fall of man and continues from there to recount God's plan for the salvation of mankind in the person of Jesus Christ. The nine readings from the Bible are interspersed with some of the most gorgeous choral music imaginable. The Festival of Lessons and Carols is broadcast across the country by many public radio stations. If your local station does not carry it, you can listen online. If you do so, however, just be aware that the source of the broadcast may be in a different time zone from your own. If that is the case, make sure to adjust for your own time zone!

Here's just one place you can listen online. Note that this is a Cincinnati radio station, meaning it is eastern time zone. So although the broadcast time is 10:00 a.m., in Chicago we will be ready to listen at 9:00 a.m. The link also provides excellent background about the history of Lessons and Carols. (By the way, on this station the service will be rebroadcast on Christmas Day at 6:00 p.m./5:00 p.m. central time. But I would recommend listening live if at all possible. )

1 comment:

elephantschild said...

Oh, I'm so glad you reminded me. So often we intend to catch it and then miss it!

Thank goodness for the internet! I think we'll try BBC 3, BBC radio's classical station - they should have it.

We've been totally musically starved here. If we had a sitter for our little one, hubby and I would be attending midnight mass at the Episcopal church in nearby college town, just to get some good "grand and glorious" under our belts!!