Lessons and Carols Returns to Campus After Two Year Pause

December 16, 2022

The sounds of Christmas carols and hymns echoed within the walls of Cannon Memorial Chapel on Sunday, December 4, as the Office of the Chaplaincy and Department of Music hosted the 49th annual Candlelight Festival of Lessons and Carols. Following a two-year pause because of the pandemic, the Chapel was filled with energy and excitement, as congregants young and old gathered to hear the familiar scriptures read by faculty, staff, students and alumni.

The readers movingly re-told the Christmas story through the prophecies of Isaiah, the wonder of Mary, the message of the angels, the fear of the shepherds and the awe of the wise men. The beautiful music of Schola Cantorum and Women’s Chorale complemented each scripture with carols that brought the words to life. Music swelled to the rafters when the congregation joined the choir and brass in singing hymns, and the joy of being in community was palpable. A sense of expectancy filled those gathered as the ninth lector read the poetic words of the first chapter of the Gospel of John.

The organ quietly began to play as the candle light was passed throughout the Chapel.  With hushed, yet reverent voices, the congregation sang “Silent Night” and watched as the lights dimmed to darkness. On the final stanza of the hymn, the Chapel glowed with the warmth and beauty of the season, each candle a visible reminder of the goodness, hope, and peace that exist in our world. When the service concluded, joyful chatter echoed in the Chapel as those gathered visited with one another on the way out the doors. The Chaplaincy is grateful to all who worked diligently to make this evening so lovely.  With hearts filled with Christmas cheer, we now look forward to the 50th annual Festival of Lessons and Carols in 2023!