Festival of Lessons and Carols
The Festival of Lessons and Carols is a service of Scripture and song that dates to the late 19th century. In this service, we listen to nine
Scripture lessons which recount the Fall, the promise of a Messiah, the
Incarnation, and the Great Commission to preach the Good News. Each
lesson is followed by a carol or other song that reflects on the
lesson's message and a brief prayer.
Opening Song: Once in Royal David's City
We gather here to recall the mystery of our redemption.
Though sin drew us away from God, he never stopped loving us.
The prophets told of the coming of a Messiah
who would initiate a reign of justice and peace.
This promise was fulfilled in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
Let us now reflect with joy on this wondrous mystery.
First Lesson Reading: Genesis 3:1-15
Song: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Lord of mercy,
despite our sinfulness,
you never stopped loving us.
Fill our hearts with your mercy,
that we may forgive others.
Second LessonSong: Reges Terrae
Reading: Jeremiah 23:5-8
you promised that your reign
would bring the justice
that would never end.
May we help to bring this justice in our time.
Third LessonReading: Isaiah 11:1-10
Song: Creator of the Stars of Night
we wait for the day of your peace.
May we help to bring this peace
in our families, our communities, and our world.
Reading: Isaiah 9:1-6
Song: O Come, O Come Emmanuel
you are always with us.
May we always trust in your presence
and share it with those around us.
Fifth LessonSong: Ave Maria
Reading: Luke 1:26-38
you asked Joseph and Mary to trust in you.
May we come to share in their trust
and always rely on you.
Reading: Luke 2:1-18
Song: Silent Night
you came to us in humility and vulnerability.
May we always show loving care to those around us,
especially those in most need.
Reading: Matthew 2:1-12
Song: We Three Kings
you are the giver of all good gifts.
May we always remember to share our gifts with others
for the glory of your name.
Reading: John 1:1-14
Song: Verbum Caro Factus Est
God of power and might,
you are beyond all time and space.
May we never fail to recognize your majesty
and give praise to you in all we do.
Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
Song: Go Tell It on the Mountain
you call us to be your witnesses
to the ends of the earth.
Fill our words with power
that we may proclaim your good news
and draw all people to you.
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament
© 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.
and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved.
No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.