‘Tis the Season of Bells and Voices: Lessons and Carols

The Department of Music at Fairmont State University presents an annual traditional Service of Lessons and Carols on Friday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Clarksburg, WV and Sunday, December 8 at 6 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Fairmont, WV.  

The uplifting holiday program at Clarksburg will feature the Fairmont State choirs and several guest instrumentalists while the one in Fairmont will feature the Fairmont State choirs collaborating with the church’s Cambridge Handbell Choir.  The event is free and open to the public. A goodwill offering will be collected.

The service will consist of nine scripture readings that tell the Christmas story. Musical selections will be interspersed throughout the program, including “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “Joy to the World,” “O Holy Night,” and other well-known Christmas carols.

The format of the Service of Lessons and Carols dates back to 1880, when it was first instituted at the Cathedral of Truro in England. It became quite popular among Anglican congregations, and it has since been adapted and used by churches around the world. The Fairmont State service is modeled somewhat after the very well-known Service of Lessons and Carols presented by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. The service has been held yearly at King’s College since 1918. It is broadcast to millions of people around the world each Christmas Eve.

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