The Classic FM Carol Service

Celebrate Christmas with our online carol service, with performances from Genesis Sixteen, and readings from some of your favourite presenters: Nick Bailey, John Brunning, Jamie Crick, Tim Lihoreau, David Mellor, Nicholas Owen, John Suchet, and Margherita Taylor.

christmas carols

Now you can enjoy a Christmas carol service from the comfort of your own home, with a selection of poems, readings and carols guaranteed to get you in a festive mood. Singers from Genesis Sixteen, The Sixteen's training programme, stopped off at Classic FM to sing carols with all of us, but we couldn't just keep these special performances to ourselves. As a holiday treat, here are a few highlights from their live performance, wrapped up with a few of our favourite Christmas poems and readings read by presenters from across the schedule. So pour a glass of mulled wine, snuggle up by the fire, and enjoy.

And here's a Christmas present from us: you can now download the entire carol service as a free podcast.

The prophet foretells the coming of the Saviour, from Isaiah Chapter 9
Read by Nicholas Owen

A reading taken from the Bible, traditionally heard at the service of nine lessons and carols in the lead up to Christmas.

Listen to Nicholas Owen reading a passage from Isaiah 9

 

Gabriel's Message
Performed by Genesis Sixteen, live at Classic FM

Angel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary, explaining that she will bear the son of God.

Listen to Genesis Sixteen performing Gabriel's Message

 

A Spotless Rose
Read by John Suchet

Catherine Winkworth's beautiful English translation of the 15th Century German carol, Es ist ein Ros entsprungen .

Listen to John Suchet reading A Spotless Rose

 

Ding Dong Merrily on High
Performed by Genesis Sixteen, live at Classic FM

A jolly carol celebrating Christmas Day with a choral peal of bells.

Listen to Genesis Sixteen performing Ding Dong Merrily

 

Santa Claus
Read by Jamie Crick

Detailing the magical Christmas journey of old St. Nick, this poem is taken from Christmas , a book published in 1907.

Listen to Jamie Crick reading Santa Claus

 

The Holly and the Ivy
Performed by Genesis Sixteen, live at Classic FM

A traditional Christmas carol, linking the trees in the wood with the birth of Jesus.

Listen to Genesis Sixteen performing The Holly and the Ivy

 

Little Tree
Read by Tim Lihoreau

Simple and beautiful, this delightful poem by E. E. Cummings is an ode to a Christmas tree, written in the voice of a child.

Listen to Tim Lihoreau reading little tree

 

A Visit from St. Nicholas ('Twas the Night Before Christmas)
Read by Margherita Taylor

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...

Listen to Margherita Taylor reading 'Twas the night before Christmas

 

Christmas Eve
Read by Nick Bailey

Christina Rosetti's beautiful poem captures the optimism of Christmas time.

Listen to Nick Bailey reading Christmas Eve

 

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Performed by Genesis Sixteen, live at Classic FM

Mendelssohn and Wesley's brilliant Christmas carol, describing the birth of Jesus.

Listen to Genesis Sixteen perform Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

 

The Oxen
Read by David Mellor

A special Christmas reading from David Mellor, reciting this nostalgic festive poem by Thomas Hardy.

Listen to David Mellor reading The Oxen

 

Winter
Read by John Brunning

This seasonal sonnet, used by Vivaldi in Winter from The Four Seasons, brings the cold season to life in verse. The poem is split into three sections, one used for each movement of Vivaldi's concerto.

Listen to John Brunning reading Winter

 

We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Performed by Genesis Sixteen, live at Classic FM

What better way to round off our online carol service than with a touch of musical figgy pudding in the jolly Christmas song, We Wish You a Merry Christmas?

Listen to Genesis Sixteen perform We Wish You a Merry Christmas

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