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story.lead_photo.caption Westminster College will celebrate its annual Festival of Lessons and Carols at 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. This is the 36th anniversary for the service, which is free and open to the public. Doors are set to open at 4 p.m.

Westminster College will celebrate its annual Festival of Lessons and Carols at 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury.

This is the 36th anniversary for the service and is free and open to the public. Doors are set to open at 4 p.m.

"Come pause with us and soak in some warmth in the midst of a busy season of life, whether busy with final exams or holiday shopping or just the day-to-day grind," said Kiva Nice-Webb, Westminster's director of the Center for Faith and Service.

A Christian service, Westminster's "beloved" and "time-honored" event is patterned after the original "Festival of Nine Lessons" and "Carols at King's College" in Cambridge, England. Sponsored by Westminster's office of Spiritual Life, the event is a community worship service that seeks to celebrate the birth of Jesus through scripture and song.

The service includes the reading of nine biblical scriptures that pertain to the Christmas story. Holiday carols will be performed by the Churchill Singers and other area musicians.

The annual event traditionally takes place at Westminster on the second Sunday of Advent. Nice-Webb said Advent is a season of hopeful, expectant waiting.

"It allows us time to sit and reflect in the midst of all that is challenging and troubling in our world — to sit in a time when the days are short and the dark of night is long, and in that sitting, to bear witness to the hope that we have for a better world," Nice-Webb said.

Nice-Webb said Westminster looks forward to celebrating with the broader Fulton community. There will be a reception following the service at the National Churchill Museum.

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