If you have never listened to the King's College Lessons and Carols service, I invite you to do so with us this year. Here are some links to help you out:
Here's an article written by Michael Barone that describes his experience of attending the actual event last year. It's like a rock concert. People start lining up on the afternoon of December 23 in hopes of making it through the front door of the chapel.
And finally, here's an article by Jonathan Willcocks, son of Sir David Willcocks, long-time former musical director at King's College, about his memories of singing in the choir when he was a child (the choir is composed only of men and boy sopranos). I love his reminiscences of getting in trouble for having wax ball fights (even King's College boys will be boys!) and of how the soloist for the opening of the service was chosen:
Even the boy who was chosen (usually at the very last moment) to sing the solo first verse of the carol “Once in Royal David’s city” would not be especially anxious; it would just be another solo alongside many that he would have sung in the regular services in the chapel.
The parents of that boy soloist who would be the ones suffering the agonies of anxiety. I was in the somewhat unusual situation of having my father, Sir David Willcocks, as Musical Director of the choir. Again, it didn’t at the time seem awkward to me. Perhaps fortunately I was one of the “also-rans” rather than a star solo voice and so the dilemma of whether to choose me to sing the solo at the Christmas Eve service never arose.
After you listen to the Lessons and Carols broadcast tomorrow, you will be ready for more Christmas music, right? And while most broadcast stations will be winding down, discontinuing their Christmas music offering on the morning of December 26, there is a radio station that knows that Christmas is only just beginning! Watch below for more information.
I would like to wish all of you a most blessed and peaceful Christmas celebration. Thank you for reading. May God be with you today and always, in your trials and in your joys, assuring you of His forgiveness and all-consuming love.