Darlington School will officially welcome the holidays this year with the 37th annual Festival of Lessons & Carols, which returns to Morris Chapel on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. The event, sponsored by the Darlington "Y" Cabinet and led primarily by members of the student body, will be live streamed on this page. The service will not be open to the public.
The order of service is centered around nine biblical lessons that tell the story of the birth of Christ, with musical interludes between each narrative.
"Lessons & Carols is Darlington’s oldest and longest standing one-school event,” said Sam Moss (‘63), dean of college guidance. “This service has become a wonderful tradition at Darlington that involves students of all ages.”
The service will include a mixture of live and pre-recorded performances by the 4th and 5th Grade Chorus, the Concert Choir, the Darlington Orchestra and the Darlington Brass Choir. Among the featured congregational hymns are Christmas classics like "Joy to the World," "O Come, All Ye Faithful," and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."
"New faces and new voices bring energy and excitement to this service each year, making it a truly cherished holiday tradition to our Darlington friends and family," said Kim Tunnell, director of fine arts. “We keep the scriptures and lessons the same, but the student groups that perform each year make each performance special. We are thankful that technology allows us to continue this meaningful tradition this year and share it with the Darlington Community via live stream.”
Typically following the service in Morris Chapel, the school's Great Tree will be lit, a tradition that was started by the late Dr. and Mrs. E.L. Wright. Dr. Wright served as Darlington's headmaster from 1920-54, and as president from 1954-63. Because this year's event will be live streamed only, the Great Tree was lit in November to greet the students as they returned to campus from Thanksgiving break.
Originally an Anglican church service, the Festival of Lessons & Carols has expanded to schools and universities worldwide that encompass a variety of different affiliations. The program dates back more than 125 years to Truro, England, and was adopted in 1918 by King’s College, Cambridge University. Lessons & Carols garnered worldwide fame after the BBC first broadcast the service in 1928.
Click here to see photos from last year's service.
Lessons & Carols will be streamed live at www.darlingtonschool.org/lessons. A recording of the full service will be made available online afterwards.