The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first held on Christmas Eve 1918. It was planned by Eric Milner-White, who at the age of thirty-four had just been appointed Dean of King’s after experience as an army chaplain which had convinced him that the Church of England needed more imaginative worship. (He devised our Advent Carol Service in 1934, and was a liturgical pioneer and authority during his twenty two years as Dean of York.) The music was then directed by Arthur Henry Mann, Organist 1876–1929. The choir included sixteen trebles as laid down in King Henry VI’s statutes, but until 1927 the men’s voices were provided partly by Choral Scholars and partly by older Lay Clerks, and not, as now, by fourteen undergraduates. A revision of the Order of Service was made in 1919, involving rearrangement of the lessons, and from that date the service has always begun with the hymn ‘Once in royal David’s city’. In almost every year some carols have been changed and some new ones introduced by successive Organists: Arthur Henry Mann; Boris Ord, 1929–57; Harold Darke (his substitute during the war), 1940–45; Sir David Willcocks, 1957–73; Philip Ledger, 1974–82 and, from 1982, Stephen Cleobury. The backbone of the service, the lessons and the prayers, has remained virtually unchanged.
John-Mark Echols and The Field’s Edge Ministry is preparing to build a permanent supportive tiny home community of 100 homes to lift the chronically homeless off the streets. We can get involved in this ministry now by serving with John-Mark through the Breaking Bread Breakfast Truck. You can sign up through this link.
The address is 410 E. Florida St. We ask volunteers to arrive at 6:30am on the day they sign up for and help us load up the truck. We leave the kitchen about 7 and are out until 9. We are outside a good bit of the time so dress appropriately for the weather. Volunteers can expect a very personal, human-to-human and heart-to-heart experience as we meet the homeless where they are. We focus on building relationships and being bearers of the hope of Christ.
Breaking Bread Kitchen seeks to carry the gospel of the Lord through feeding the hungry and helping those in need. You can participate by volunteering your time, donating specific items, or giving funds. Find out more here.
Watch our parish video to learn more about St. Nicholas' Episcopal Church