King’s College Carol service to be held for an empty chapel this Christmas

27 November 2020, 11:00 | Updated: 27 November 2020, 11:15

The King’s College Carol service will be held in an empty chapel this Christmas
The King’s College Carol service will be held in an empty chapel this Christmas. Picture: Getty

By Sian Moore

The beloved annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will go ahead at King’s College Chapel, but with no congregation.

The King’s College Christmas Eve carol service is going ahead this year, but a congregation will not be allowed in the chapel.

Members of the public won’t be able to attend the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at the Cambridge chapel as a safety precaution during the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, viewers will have to watch the service on television, or experience it online.

“There will be no congregation in the chapel this year as part of the necessary precautions that the college is taking to ensure that the services are safe,” a King’s College spokesperson said on Thursday.

“Orders of service will be made available online from December 18 to facilitate people joining in at home.”

Read more: The 30 greatest Christmas carols of all time >

Stephen Cherry, the Dean of King’s College Chapel, shared the news on the college’s website.

“One feature of the Festival Of Nine Lessons And Carols that is especially important to the college has always been the participation of the congregation of college members and members of the public,” he wrote.

“We regret to say that this year we are not able to have a congregation in the chapel.”

Read more: King’s College Choir – members, songs and the famous Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols >

King’s College Carol service to be held in empty chapel this Christmas
King’s College Carol service to be held in empty chapel this Christmas. Picture: Getty

Cherry added: “We are sorry to disappoint those who were thinking that they might like to attend.

“We hope that you will be able to enjoy the broadcast and to assist with this we will be publishing the order of service on this website.”

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first introduced in 1918 and includes carols and readings from the Bible.

An order of service for the festival will be available on the college’s website from 18 December.

On 1 December at 8am, Classic FM will Switch on the Sound of Christmas. We’ll be featuring great recordings from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and others from the great cathedrals and choirs of the UK.