On Christmas Eve in 1918 the Kings College Choir held its first Festival of Lessons and Carols in Cambridge, England. Now, almost 100 years later, the service has become a beloved tradition.

Carols, both ancient and new, intersperse with readings from Scripture. Readers include a boy chorister, the Provost of the college, and the chorus director.  They speak slowly and clearly, the well-known words echoing through the chapel. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light …”

Every year the service begins the same way. All alone, a young boy from the choir sings “Once in Royal David’s City.” His high, pure voice captivate you.

Once in royal David’s city/ Stood a lowly cattle shed,/ Where a Mother laid her Baby/ In a manger for his bed:/ Mary was that mother mild,/ Jesus Christ her little Child.

Lessons and Carols Program