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Wingate to host Lessons & Carols

By Savannah Phillips, student writer

Students, faculty and staff will have a chance to take part in a century-old holiday tradition on Monday at Wingate Baptist Church as Wingate University hosts Lessons and Carols.

Dr. Christy Cobb, assistant religion professor, and Dr. Jordan Wilson, associate music professor, have organized the faith Lyceum event, which will feature scripture readings interspersed with sacred music, as the name implies.

First used as an order of service on Christmas Eve in 1880 in Truro, England, Lessons and Carols became an annual tradition at King’s College in Cambridge starting in 1918, when dean Eric Milner-White, a 34-year-old former army chaplain, decided that the Church of England needed more imaginative worship. He penned a special “bidding prayer” as a call to worship, which has changed little over the years even as the lessons have been rearranged, more music has been added and the tradition has spread all over the globe. 

According to Milner-White, the main theme of the service is “the development of the loving purposes of God …” seen “through the windows and words of the Bible.”

Cobb brought the tradition to Wingate in 2018, on the 100th anniversary of its King’s College debut, and has helped with it each year since. This year, she recruited the following students, all of whom are majoring or minoring in religion, as readers: Zinni Botha, Jeremiah Bullock, Mallory Challis, Yvonne Chamba, Allison Barbee and Hannah Haigler. Additionally, Dr. Juan Garcia, a philosophy professor, and Campus Minister Dane Jordan will participate in the event.

According to Wilson, student music organizer Daniel Lowman will direct a volunteer student choir. Senior tenor Logan Williams will sing a solo; and freshman Joshua Thomas will be featured on flute. 

Wilson said the service will also include traditional Christmas carols such as “Joy to the World” that many in attendance should be familiar with, and all are invited to join in singing. At the organ and piano will be Polly Bostic, a retired faculty member who regularly serves as organist at Wingate Baptist.

Lessons and Carols is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, at 109 E. Elm St. in Wingate. The event is free and open to the public.

Dec. 2, 2021