Lessons & Carols 2018

50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of Advent Episcopal School's most beloved and strongest traditions: The Festival of Lessons and Carols. Over the years, all members of our school community—students, parents, grandparents, alumni, and friends of the school—come together to reconnect during this festive time. The tradition of Lessons & Carols is the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season and a great chance to visit with your Advent family!

The Advent tradition of Lessons & Carols stems from the very first Festival of Lessons and Carols that was held on Christmas Eve in 1918 in the chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England. It was planned by the Dean of the chapel, The Reverend Eric Milner-White. A revision of the Order of Service was made in 1919, involving the rearrangement of the lessons, and from this date on, the service has always begun with the hymn Once in Royal David's City.

In keeping with tradition, our service starts in silence as the voice of the single soloist sings the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City. As the congregation joins in together to sing the remaining verses, a powerful moment sets the tone for the remainder of the service. In addition to this Anglican tradition, Advent's Festival of Lessons and Carols has a unique tradition of its own. Each year, students and alumni join together to sing O, Holy Night in French. With all students learning French at Advent, this carol is particularly powerful and demonstrates the continuity of experience between our alumni and current students.

Whether it’s your 50th year of Lessons & Carols or your very first, we would love for you to join us at one of our three services this year and make the Advent Lessons & Carols a part of your Christmas traditions.

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, there are several events planned for our alumni, Advent Fund donors, and current families as indicated below. We look forward to celebrating this special occasion together!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Community Service—12 p.m. (Cathedral Church of the Advent)
All members of the community are invited to join us for this special one hour service. Please note that our prekindergarten and kindergarten students will not be participating in this service.

Cross & Shield Society Holiday Party—6 p.m. (Canary Gallery)
The inaugural Cross & Shield Society Holiday Party recognizes donors who generously support Advent with gifts of $1,000 or more. This event is invite only.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Service—9 a.m. (Cathedral Church of the Advent)
We encourage our current Advent families, grandparents, and friends to join us for this service!

Family Christmas Lunch—11 a.m. (Advent Episcopal School)
All current families are invited to join us for an Advent Family Christmas Lunch at school following the Friday service. RSVP information to come!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Service—3 p.m. (Cathedral Church of the Advent)
The Advent community—alumni, parents of alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends of the school—are invited to join us for our traditional Sunday afternoon service. Be sure to arrive early to ensure seating. 

Alumni Event—5 p.m. (Tutwiler Hotel)
All alumni, their families, and former faculty and staff are invited to join us at the Tutwiler Hotel immediately following the Sunday service. Come reconnect with old friends and celebrate Advent! Be sure to RSVP!