The Department of Music at Fairmont State University presents an annual traditional Service of Lessons and Carols on December 1 at 7:30p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Fairmont, WV and a separate performance on December 2 at 3:00p.m. at Suncrest United Methodist Church in Morgantown, WV. The handbell choirs at each church will collaborate with the Fairmont State choirs. The event is free and open to the public. A goodwill offering will be collected.
The service will consist of nine scripture readings that trace the story of the fall of humanity, prophecies of the coming Messiah, and the birth of Jesus. Musical selections will be interspersed throughout the program, including "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," "Joy to the World," "O Come All Ye Faithful," and other well-known Christmas carols.
The format of the Service of Lessons and Carols dates back to 1880, when it was first instituted at the Cathedral of Truro in England. It became quite popular among Anglican congregations, and it has since been adapted and used by churches around the world. The Fairmont service is modeled somewhat after the very well-known Service of Lessons and Carols presented by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. The service has been held yearly at King’s College since 1918. It is broadcast to millions of people around the world each Christmas Eve.