Annual service ushers in Christmas season

Modeled after a British tradition of the same name, the Festival of Lessons and Carols returns to Westminster College.

The annual service will commence at 5 p.m. Sunday, at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. It is free and open to the public.

“I think that a lot of people in the community as well as on campus look forward to it as a way of ushering in their holiday season,” said Natasia Cain, assistant professor of music at Westminster.

Rev. Jamie Haskins, Westminster chaplain, said the religious event is a time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and take a break from the stress the season can cause.

The Festival of Lessons and Carols includes Christmas music performed between scripture readings by graduating seniors and community ministers. Nine scriptures relating to the birth of Jesus will be read. The Westminster College Wren Quire, the Churchill Singers, voice students and two area residents — Melissa Purvis on the harp and Gretchen Huedephol on the organ — will provide the music.

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