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Sue Bush
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Williams College Christmas Service of Lessons And Carols

12:00AM / Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Williams College Service of Lessons and Carols is scheduled for Dec. 10 at the Thompson Memorial Chapel
Williamstown - The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at William College will be held on Sunday, December 10 in the Thompson Memorial Chapel. The single service is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will feature choral music, familiar carols, and the traditional reading of the biblical Christmas story.

Tickets are required for admission. There is no charge for the tickets and they may be obtained on campus, Monday - Friday, Nov. 27 - Dec. 1 and Dec. 4 - 8, at the Office of Campus Life (on the first floor of Hopkins Hall) or the Chaplains' Office (Siskind House, 11 Morley Drive). Hours of ticket distribution are 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1 -4:30 p.m. Tickets are limited to four per person.


On the afternoon of the service, ticket holders who arrive at the Chapel by 2:45 p.m. can be assured of seating; after 2:45 p.m. available seating will be released for any non-ticket holders who may be waiting in line.

The Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, Bradley Wells, director, will perform an array of traditional arrangements as well as new settings of seasonal texts, under the direction of student conductors Stephen Spinelli '07 and Alexander Schumacker '08.

Organist Edwin I. Lawrence will be joined by several organ students in playing the Prelude (which begins at 2:40 p.m.) - and the Williams Handbell Choir will play the festive Postlude after the service.

Students and members of the community will read the traditional Christmas lessons and the Rev. Rick Spalding, College Chaplain, will deliver a meditation.

A free-will offering will be received at the conclusion of the service, for the benefit of the Berkshire Community Action Council's emergency fuel assistance program, and for the Nyumbani Children's Home, a residence for children living with HIV, in Nairobi, Kenya. In addition, all are invited to bring an item of non-perishable canned or packaged food for local emergency pantries.

The Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols has been described as one that "presents the Christmas story in an ambience of mystery, splendor, hope and joy." It was instituted at Williams College in the mid-1960's by the Rev. John Eusden, then Chaplain and Professor of Religion, in collaboration with Prof. of Music Kenneth Roberts. The service is modeled on the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, first held on Christmas Eve in 1918 at King's College Chapel in Cambridge, England.

In prior years, there have been two services. The change this year to a single service reflects the realities of academic life for dozens of students who serve as singers, readers and acolytes in the service - for whom this point in the calendar brings the most demanding phase of end-of-term exams and papers.


For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the on-line map at www.williams.edu/home/campusmap/. An outdoor map is also displayed between Hopkins Hall and Thompson Memorial Chapel on Hopkins Hall Drive, near the entrance to the Williams College Security Office.
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