Local ministries to come together for English Christmas tradition

Local ministries to come together for English Christmas tradition

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – Rooted in more than a century of Christmas tradition, a special event this Sunday in Montgomery promises a unique Christmas experience. Members of various community ministries will help lead a Festival of Lessons and Carols – an English tradition dating back to the late 1800s. The service is free to the public and all are invited.

Lessons and Carols includes nine Biblical 'lessons' that tell the Christmas story, followed by Christmas 'carols' or anthems. Montgomery's Episcopal Church of the Ascension will host the event in the Anglican tradition of King's College, Cambridge, where it originated. The King's College Lessons and Carols service is broadcast annually around the globe by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

"Of course, the public can listen to or watch the broadcast, but experiencing the service in person -- the candlelight, the beautiful music -- is far more meaningful," said Ascension Rector, the Rev. Andrew Thayer.

With the Episcopal Church's English historical roots and Ascension's prominent Gothic Revival architecture, the Church of the Ascension is as an ideal environment for the event, according to Thayer.

Ascension Music Director Becky Taylor says that the intention of the service is "to offer a quiet and thoughtful service which reminds us of the 'reason for the season.'"

The Ascension choir will provide the music. The lessons will be read by leaders of local community organizations.

The service will begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 18th at the Church of the Ascension.

For more information, visit the Church of the Ascension's Facebook event page or log on to www.coascension.org. You may reach the church by phone at (334) 263-5529.

The Episcopal Church is the recognized American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Church of the Ascension, a parish within the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, is located at 315 Clanton Avenue (at the corner of McDonough Street) in Montgomery's Garden District.

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