Originally instituted at Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, England, this service was based on a medieval vigil service and was adapted in the early twentieth century by the Very Rev. E.M. Millner-White, dean of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England. Since then, it has been sung annually in King’s College Chapel on Christmas Eve, and at St. Mark’s since 1942. The candlelit service opens with the traditional carol “Once in royal David’s city,” a bidding prayer, and the Lord’s Prayer. The story continues with the promise to Abraham, the assurance of the prophet Isaiah, the calling of Mary, the birth of Jesus, and ends with St. John’s unfolding of the great mystery of the Incarnation. Carols, familiar and unfamiliar, will be sung throughout the service. An offering is received for the work of St. Mark’s Choir Association.
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