Chapel gathering

University of Richmond Beloved Holiday Tradition Celebrates 50 years; Candlelight Festival of Lessons and Carols to be held Dec. 3

November 20, 2023

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — The University of Richmond Chaplaincy and the Department of Music will hold the 50th annual Candlelight Festival of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, Dec. 3, in Cannon Memorial Chapel.

Two identical services will be held, one at 5 p.m. and one at 8 p.m. Lessons and Carols is open to the campus and greater community. The 5 p.m. service is typically standing room only. Guests are encouraged to attend the 8 p.m. service to ensure seating.

The University's Schola Cantorum, joined by organ, piano, brass, and the James River Ringers, will present new and familiar Christmas carols and anthems in the tradition of the “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” that was first held at King's College Chapel in Cambridge, England, on Christmas Eve 1918. Prelude music will begin twenty minutes before each service. The services conclude with the lighting of candles by the congregation and the singing of “Silent Night.”

“For 50 years this grand Richmond tradition has offered grace and beauty to the campus community and to those in the wider region,” said University Chaplain Rev. Dr. Craig Kocher. “The cherished story of peace on earth and good will among all people will be shared through lessons, carols, and candlelight once again.” 

The Chapel is located at 134 UR Drive, Richmond, Virginia, 23173.