Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will present its annual Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas in an intercultural program that will feature traditional Spirituals for the season and readings from some of the most revered African American verse.
This treasured event will be led by The Seminary Choir and readers from the Seminary community. The service will be held Friday, December 9, at 11:30 a.m. in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel. Admission is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.
Through scripture and song, members of the Seminary community retell the story of God’s loving purpose, from Creation to the Incarnation. Selected lessons will come from James Weldon Johnson's God’s Trombones and from Black Nativity by Langston Hughes, with the final lesson being read from the Gospel of John, chapter 1:1-14.The Seminary Choir, under the direction of Rev. Dr. Louie Bailey, will sing several Spirituals arranged by Robert Morris, André J. Thomas, and John Rutter, and Keith Hampton’s True Light. The congregation is invited to join in singing the hymns and carols and the concluding Hallelujah Chorus by Frideric Handel.
Tradition holds that the first historical Service of Lessons and Carols was held in 1880 at the cathedral of Truro in Cornwall, England. This service also incorporated the tradition of door-to-door caroling to villagers. In 1918, King’s College, in Cambridge, England, established the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols as a traditional closure to the Advent season, with their first performance on Christmas Eve.
At Louisville Seminary, this annual event marks the end of the fall semester and the beginning of research and study days prior to final exams. The Seminary choir includes Seminary employees, members of the student body and faculty, and individuals from the Louisville community. These individuals rehearse each week and also provide worship leadership at chapel services during the academic year.
Immediately following the service, an “Apples for Advent” reception, featuring foods made with apples, will be held in the Winn Center. For more information, call Louisville Seminary at 502.895.3411.
Louisville Seminary is located off Lexington Road at 1044 Alta Vista Rd. in Louisville, Kentucky, 40205.