Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols
The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2 in Thompson Memorial Chapel. As always, the identical services features choral music by the College’s Concert and Chamber Choirs, congregational singing of familiar carols, and the traditional reading of the biblical Christmas story.
There is no admission charge for either service – but all are encouraged to bring an item of non-perishable canned or packaged food for local emergency food pantries.
The Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs perform an array of traditional arrangements under the direction of Katie Gardiner Visiting Director of Choral/Vocal Activities. Organist Edwin Lawrence is joined by several organ students in playing the Prelude (which begins at 3:40 p.m.)
Students, faculty and staff from the College and members of the local community read the traditional “lessons” derived from the biblical Christmas story. The Rev. Rick Spalding, Chaplain to the College, delivers a meditation, and Fr. Gary Caster, Catholic Chaplain, serves as liturgist. As always, a free-will offering of money is received at the conclusion of each service.
The service, modeled on the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols first held on Christmas Eve in 1918 at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England, has been described as one that “presents the Christmas story in an ambiance of mystery, splendor, hope and joy.” The Service of Lessons and Carols has been a beloved holiday tradition at Williams since the 1960’s.
Parking is available in the lot behind Thompson Memorial Chapel, on Hopkins Hall Drive.