Christmas is more than Santa

The festival of Nine Lessons and Carols celebrates the birth of Jesus (a sort of skinny Santa Claus whose gift was love).

The story of humanity’s fall, the Messiah’s promise, and Jesus’s birth is told in nine short Bible readings, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols and hymns.

This was originally done for Christmas Eve in 1880 in Cornwall. It has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the world.

The best-known version happens annually at King’s College in Cambridge on Christmas Eve.

In the best tradition of King’s College, St Andrew’s Anglican Choir and St Carthage’s Cathedral Choir, from Lismore, join forces each year to present a service of Nine Lessons and Carols, annually alternating services between the Catholic Cathedral and St Andrew’s in Lismore, as well as taking it to Ballina and Mullumbimby.

Locally, the music is selected (and the choirs prepared) by music director and organist Warren Whitney.

You can enjoy some of the real spirit of Christmas with Nine Lessons and Carols at: • St Mary’s Anglican Church, Ballina, this Friday, December 18, from 7.30pm;

  • St Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore, this Sunday, December 20, from 7.30pm;
  • St Martin’s Anglican Church, Mullumbimby, next Tuesday, December 22, from 7.30pm; and
  • a special Christmas service at St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Lismore, on Friday, December 25, at 7.30am.

Entry is free.

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