Hymn: Once in Royal David’s City – arranged David Willcocks
Brich an, O Schönes Morgenlicht (Christmas Oratorio) – J. S. Bach
Adam lay ybounden – John Ireland
Personent Hodie – Gustav Holst
Hymn: Hark, the glad sound – descant by C. S. Lang
A Tender Shoot – Otto Goldschmidt
Gabriel’s Message – Basque Carol, arranged Edgar Pettman
Sleeps Judea Fair – Hugh MacKinnon
Hymn: Angels we have heard on high
I wonder as I wander – Carl Rütti
Psallite, unigenito – Michael Praetorious
Hymn: Hark, the herald Angels Sing – arranged David Willcocks
Vom himmel hoch (BWV 700) – J. S. Bach
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a format for a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus which is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols and hymns.
The format was based on an Order drawn up by Edward White Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, for Christmas Eve 1880 in Truro, England, and has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the world. The best-known version is broadcast annually to millions of listeners around the world from King’s College, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve, featuring carols sung by the famous King’s College Choir.