When the lights dim in Glenn Auditorium, candlelight fills the sanctuary and the Emory University Chorus begins to sing "Once in Royal David's City," the Christmas season has officially arrived. An Atlanta tradition since 1935, A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
continues to bring Emory and Atlanta community members together to celebrate the season. Based on the traditional Christmas service at King's College Chapel in Cambridge, England, the program is performed by the Emory University Chorus and Concert Choir under the direction of Eric Nelson. The candlelit service begins with the Bidding Prayer, followed by readings of nine lessons from the Old and New Testaments leading to the birth of Christ. Between readings, the University Chorus and Concert Choir perform carols and hymns. Choral selections include classics from Bach and Vivaldi, as well as selections from contemporary composers. Favorites such as "Joy to the World" are on the program, as well as melodies from around the world.
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