Advent is a season marked by special church services that inspire reverence and awe, but Dec. 13 was a particularly special morning in chapel. Associate Professor of Historical Theology Dr. Erik Herrmann led the Seminary community in a Service of Lessons and Carols with Nicholas Gonzalez, a fourth-year seminarian, assisting. “God chose to save us by sending His Son as a baby. This teaches us something about the heart of God … how He longs to visit us in His grace and mercy,” Herrmann shared during the service. “When we focus on the wars and distress of this world, it can lead us to despair. But instead, as Martin Luther once said, we should ‘look at the gurgling baby on Mary’s lap.’ Indeed, Christmas is God’s invitation to be embraced. Before He can even speak, this little one proclaims grace to us.”
From the morning’s bulletin: The service “Lessons and Carols” originated in the United Kingdom at “King’s College.” King’s College Chapel at Cambridge University in England begins the Christian year on the eve of the First Sunday in Advent with a special service of readings and carols. The order of service includes traditional liturgical forms that vividly express the church’s preparation for the coming of our Lord Jesus both in the festival of Christmas and in the consummation of the ages. Traditionally, there are nine readings, each of which is followed by a carol serving as a commentary or response to each of the readings. The service has been adapted over several years to serve a variety of purposes in a variety of different settings. This service represents another cultural adaptation of this long-standing Christian tradition.