It was an evening of music at First Congregational Church on Saturday, Dec. 14, as the congregation played host to a performance of the Festival of Carols.
The service was modeled on the Festival of Lessons and Carols that was first offered in Truro, England, in 1880 (where it has since been performed without interruption) and later made famous by the annual radio broadcast of a Lessons and Carols service at King’s College Cambridge, offered continuously since 1918.
“The Festival of Carols offers a respite from shopping, traffic, and holiday stress, and an opportunity to connect deeply with the hope and joy of Christmas,” said The Rev. Dr. James Campbell, senior minister of First Congregational Church. “The service offers seasonal readings, moments of contemplation, and a selection of uplifting, beautiful music that will appeal to everyone.”
“Like the traditional British carol festivals, the Festival at First Congregational Church alternates seasonal readings with specially-chosen music that reflects on the texts,” said Joseph D’Eugenio, director of music at the First Congregational Church in Cheshire and artistic director of the GMChorale. “The musical portion includes several anthems to be sung by the combined choirs, along with a number of familiar carols and hymns for everyone to sing together.”