A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Chapel, Cambridge 2010

Be part of a tradition dating back to 1918 and hear some beautiful music as well by tuning into “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” tomorrow morning (Christmas Eve, 2010).

It is broadcast over the BBC (American Public Radio) from the King’s College Chapel, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, and starts at 8:00 AM Mountain Standard Time. That’s 3:00 PM (15:00) in Great Britain.

The broadcast originates from an ancient venue. Construction on the chapel, which is 50 miles north of London, began in AD 1446.

You can listen to the broadcast live on Classical 89 radio (FM 89.1 in Salt Lake County and 89.1/89.5 in Utah County) or you can listen to streaming audio over the Internet on the BBC Radio 4 or Classical 89.

Here is the order of the 90-minute service. The actual carols or hymns performed may vary somewhat from the program below. A new hymn—one has been commissioned annually since 1982—will be added to the program.  

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Processional Hymn: “Once in Royal David’s City”


  • Carol: “If Ye Would Hear the Angels Sing”

First Lesson from Genesis 3:8–15, 17–19

  • Carol: “Remember, O Thou Man”
  • Carol: “Adam lay ybounden”

Second Lesson from Genesis 22:15–18

  • Carol: “Angels from the Realms of Glory”
  • Carol: “In Dulci Jubilo”

Third Lesson from Isaiah 9:2, 6–7

  • Carol: “Nowell Sing We Now All and Some”
  • Hymn: “Unto Us is Born a Son”

Fourth Lesson from Isaiah 11:1–3a, 4a, 6–9

  • Carol: “The Lamb”
  • Carol: “A Spotless Rose Is Blowing”

Fifth Lesson from the Gospel of Luke 1:26–35, 38

  • Carol: “I Sing of a Maiden”
  • Carol: “The Night when She First Gave Birth” (“Mary”)

Sixth Lesson from Luke 2:1,  3–7

  • Carol: “Sweet Baby, Sleep! What Ails My Dear?” (“Wither’s Rocking Hymn)”
  • Carol: “What Sweeter Music Can We Bring”

Seventh Lesson from Luke 2:8–16

  • Carol: “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly”
  • Hymn: “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”

Eighth Lesson from the Gospel of Matthew 2:1–12

  • Carol: “Illuminare Jerusalem”
  • Carol: “Glory, Alleluia to the Christ Child”

Ninth Lesson from the Gospel of John 1: 1–14

  • Hymn: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (“Adeste Fideles”)


  • Hymn: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

Organ Voluntaries: “In Dulci Jubilo”

Organ Postlude

I love traditional English choir music and look forward to tuning in. I hope you enjoy the program as well.

One thought on “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Chapel, Cambridge 2010

  1. weatheringthejourney December 24, 2010 / 4:32 am

    Thank you for posting this information! Some English friends in our International Branch in China told us about this. I thought it sounded wonderful but didn't have details for it. I probably would have missed it completely if not for your post.


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