FREE Christmas Event In the Tradition of Kings College Chapel The Festival of Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music. The first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge, was held on Christmas Eve in 1918. It was introduced 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 order of service was adapted from the order created by Benson for Truro Cathedral 38 years earlier, which was based on an idea of George Walpole, at the time Succentor of Truro Cathedral, and the future Bishop of Edinburgh. The first service at King’s largely followed Benson’s original plan, including the Benedictions before each reading, several of which were later amalgamated by Milner-White into his Bidding Prayer. The music at the first service at King’s was directed by Arthur Henry Mann, who was the organist from 1876 to 1929. The choir had 16 trebles as specified in statutes laid down by Henry VI, and until 1927 the men’s voices were provided by choral scholars and lay clerks. Today, 14 undergraduates from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, sing the men’s parts.