The Fredonia First United Methodist Church invites the community to "A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols" on Saturday evening.
The service originated at King's College, England, on Christmas Eve 1918. The order of service consists of nine lessons, readings telling the Christmas story, interspersed with nine carols. In 1919 the order of lessons was rearranged, and since that time has remained constant, always beginning with the processional hymn "Once in Royal David's City."
Beginning in 1928, the service was broadcast on the radio, and with the exception of 1930, has been broadcast every year since, including during the Second World War.
While the readings remain the same, the carols change, including the very old and the more recently composed. The congregation is invited to sing with many of the hymns.
This year's service will be sung by the Fredonia United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, members of Trinity Episcopal Church choir, and SUNY Fredonia singers. It is directed by FUMC choir director Tim Antonacci, and accompanied by FUMC organist Casey Gray.
The service will take place at Fredonia First United Methodist Church, 25 Church St., Fredonia, on Saturday. The evening will begin with an organ recital at 7:30 p.m. by several local church organists, followed by Lessons and Carols at 8. There is no charge.
Those attending are invited to a cookie reception following the service.