And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14
The Right Reverend Edward White Benson was Bishop of Truro in Cornwall, England, from 1877-1882. Increasingly concerned about the alcohol-fueled revelry in pubs during the Christmas season, on Christmas Eve 1880, he conducted a service of “lessons and carols” in the Truro Cathedral. The lessons were short readings from Scripture, alternating with Christmas carols of the day. In 1918, a similar service was held in the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, which continues to this day: “Nine Lessons and Carols.” It is broadcast annually over BBC radio and television, received by millions around the world.
Today, churches everywhere celebrate the birth of Christ with joyful Christmas Eve services. Since Christmas Day falls on a weekend this year, most Christians will join with their local congregations—either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day—to celebrate with Scripture and singing.
The angels who announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds in Bethlehem did so with a glorious refrain of praise. May we do the same this Christmas—whether Christmas Eve or Christmas Day!
Come, adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the newborn King. James Chadwick