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When:

Sun 21 Dec 2014, 7:30pm–9:00pm

Where: Holy Trinity Cathedral, Cnr Parnell Rd & St Stephen's Ave, Parnell, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

The order of service for a Nine Lessons and Carols service was adapted from one drawn up by Bishop Edward White Benson, for use at a 10.00pm service on Christmas Eve, in 1880. This service took place in a temporary wooden shed serving as his cathedral in Truro, Cornwall. That service was originally based on an idea from the Revd George Henry Somerset Walpole, later incumbent of St Marys, Parnell, in the 1880s, and future Bishop of Edinburgh, who also wrote the original Bidding Prayer. Tradition has it that the purpose of the service was to keep men out of the public houses on Christmas Eve.

The service is now more commonly associated with the Chapel of Kings College, Cambridge, and was first held there on Christmas Eve in 1918. It was conceived by Eric Milner-White, the Dean of the College, whose experience as an army chaplain had led him to believe that more imaginative worship was needed by the Church of England. The Nine Lessons and Carols service complements the Advent Procession with Carols service, directing our minds towards the events surrounding the birth of our Lord and preparing us for the celebrations of the Eucharist on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The service begins at 7.30pm but is preceded by a series of seasonal organ pieces. This music has a sacramental quality, calling to mind the mystery of Christs incarnation and evoking memories of Christmases past. Please gather quietly and prayerfully during this time.

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