62nd Festival Service of Lessons and Carols

Worship In Sewanee Just Before Christmas

On Christmas Eve, 1918, the Chaplain of King's College, Cambridge took a Cornish Christmas tradition and brought it to the world. Weaving together biblical readings with seasonal music, the service prepared participants to hear the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ. For over 60 years, Sewanee has hosted its own service, and coming as it does at the end of the Advent semester, the gathering becomes, for many, the Christmas celebration of the University. In addition to the students, staff, and faculty of the University, the service is open to the broader community, in Sewanee and beyond.

Attending This Year's Services

After being unable to gather in person last December, we look forward to welcoming the extended Sewanee family back into All Saints' Chapel again in 2021. This year, we've expanded our seating capacity and can accommodate 1,100 people at each service. We expect to be able to seat every person who comes to worship in All Saints' Chapel. Two services—Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 5, at 4. p.m.—will feature walk-up seating, and doors will open an hour in advance of the service. The service at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, features reserved seating. We have no more reserved seating available for this service.

Lessons and Carols' Saturday 7 p.m. service will be live-streamed for our friends and family who will not be attending in person. 

Please also note that masks are required and large bags or backpacks will not be allowed in All Saints' Chapel. Email us with questions.

Previous Years

Since we couldn't gather in person in 2020, the University Choir and the staff of All Saints' Chapel worked to develop a digital offering that was made available to friends of Sewanee all over the world. While shorter than a typical service of Lessons and Carols, the film, under the direction of Stephen Garrett, C'01, captured the hopeful spirit of the service in a unique way. In 2014, Garrett produced a short film that captures the highlights of a typical year. You can find both videos below.