Lessons and Carols - Christmas Eve Service

We held a Lessons and Carols service at the Historic Chatham County Courthouse on Christmas Eve. This service has been in consistent use for nearly 100 years, starting in England and now making its way around the world. In 1918, Eric Milner-White, the Dean of King’s College in Cambridge, designed a Christmas Eve service incorporating traditional Christmas carols and hymns, with a fixed liturgy of nine scripture lessons to be read aloud. His was an adaptation of an order written by Archbishop Edward Benson some 38 years earlier, when he was Bishop of Truro, England. We live in a world where it seems humanity is doomed to always struggle with chaos, violence, and tragedy. Tribes war against tribes. Relationships are challenging and fall apart. Babies are born sick. Is there any real hope for peace and security, not only for us but also for the world? Christmas says, “Yes there is hope! We are not alone! God Himself has come to be with us, to be for us, and to save us!” Our expressed desire this evening is not to put on an impressive performance but to worship the God who loves this world so much he took on human flesh to be Emmanuel, God with us. His name is Jesus, God for us and saving us. Therefore, this service is saturated by the Word of God, both written in Scripture, sung in musical lyrics, and incarnated as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Members of Church of the Holy Trinity Chatham lead the liturgy, read the lessons, and play music. We all live here and love Chatham and it is our conviction God is here and loves Chatham too! We hope you will receive this service as a gift from our church to you and your family. It is an honor to share this holy night together.