From the Music Ministry. . .

A Ceremony of Lessons and Carols


On Sunday, December 19th, the Christmas Choir will lead in worship by presenting A Ceremony

of Lessons and Carols: A Simple Service for Choir and Congregation composed by and arranged

by Anna Laura Page and Jean Anne Schafferman. Others involved in the service are organist

Mary Ellen Kerrick, pianist Lusia Glagoleva, and, you, the people of Parkway Baptist Church

joining with the Christmas Choir in singing familiar Christmas carols.

This service follows the traditional Lessons and Carols format begun in 1880 in England. Here is

a brief description of how and where this seasonal service originated.

Lessons and Carols had its origin at Truro Cathedral (England) on Christmas Eve 1880,

when a service of scripture and supporting carols was developed by the Bishop of Truro,

F.W. Benson. Some 38 years later in 1918, this format was adapted for Christmas Eve at

King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England. The BBC broadcast from King’s College

helped to popularize the Service of Lessons and Carols, and it was quickly duplicated by

cathedrals and small churches throughout the world. The heart of the service continues

to this day – that is, the retelling of the Christian’s story of faith from the fall of Adam to

the coming of the Word Incarnate (from A Service of Lessons and Carols, Introduction,

published by Alfred Music Company, 1997).

BBC Radio still live broadcasts this annual concert from King’s College Chapel. The program is

typically simulcast by American Public Media and its affiliates at 10AM Eastern Standard Time

on December 24. For more information about this year’s broadcast go to


This service, and Parkway Baptist’s 5 p.m. Christmas Eve Service, are both excellent

opportunities to invite friends and neighbors to experience the community of Parkway Baptist