A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, originating at the cathedral of Truro in Cornwall, England on Christmas Eve, 1880, is the retelling in scripture and song of the story of our redemption in Jesus Christ. Nearly four decades after its conception, the service was modified and introduced to King’s College at Cambridge in 1918 by Dean Eric Milner-White and Organist Arthur H. Mann. Since that time the King's College tradition has been adopted by many other communities around the world.
The annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols that is celebrated in December at Perkins Chapel retains much of the drama and historical appeal of the original. It also reflects more fully the liturgical context of the Advent season, the musical traditions of Perkins School of Theology and Meadows School of the Arts, and the multicultural environment of SMU. Choral and congregational music for the service comes from a wide variety of Western and global cultures.
Professor Michael Hawn has prepared this service in collaboration with Meadows School of the Arts since 1992. Upon his appointment to the faculty of Perkins School of Theology in 2006 as associate professor of Sacred Music, Dr. Christopher Anderson became organist for the service. The Seminary Singers and the Meadows Chorale of the Meadows School of the Arts offers musical leadership in this rich weaving of Scripture and choral music.
The 2010 Lessons and Carols Service at Perkins is scheduled for December 2 at 4 and 8 pm.