This coming Sunday, December 18, at 8:30 Worship we will enjoy the long standing tradition of Lessons and Carols. Illinois Public Media shared some history in their recent blog.
Lessons and Carols grew out of the ashes of the First World War. In 1918, a 34-year-old former army chaplain named Eric Milner-White was appointed Dean of King’s College. Nothing could prepare him for the atrocities he witnessed on the Western Front when he volunteered for service in 1914. He came home believing that the church was failing the troops. How could he communicate a message of God’s love to those who had been brutalized and traumatized by war?
Milner-White devised A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols as a means of outreach to those who felt alienated by the church or religion as a whole. Instead of a complicated mass, the carols service was simpler, alternating between choral anthems, congregational hymns, and readings. The resulting service had more drama and color, was more accessible and meaningful, and acknowledged the suffering of those impacted by the Great War. This gesture was particularly important to the town of Cambridge, which had lost 211 men from King’s College alone during the war. This loss prompted the Dean to include a prayer to honor the fallen, which is still read at the beginning of the service to this day.
Although the readings, prayers, and music change from year to year, the tradition remains. Please join us as the St. Luke’s Choir leads us in worship.
If Lessons and Carols are not your thing, the 10 AM Worship led by Jubilee Praise Team will happen as usual including a message. Both will have communion.
May this coming Sunday prepare your hearts and minds for the miracle of Christmas, the coming of God in the weakness of a child, Jesus the Savior.