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We're interested in your responses to this year's Festival Service. Tell us what you think.

How they responded in 2007

This was the first year that we heard the Christmas Eve broadcast of the 9 Lessons service at Cambridge which you distributed through our local PBS radio station, WETA, but we're writing to you to ask you to ensure that it won't be the last!
We just adored the soaring majesty of the service and thank you for making it possible for people around the world to experience it. We'll mark our calendars for next year to listen.
Thank you, and we wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

The Calkins household
Washington, DC

Hello American Public Media,

Thank you for the 2007 broadcast of the Kings College Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. This Festival is very uplifting and means a great deal to me at the Christmas season. I do support my local public radio station that broadcasts the service.

Your broadcast, live, from Kings College, on Christmas Eve MADE Christmas for me! I love the service, the King James version of the Bible, the superb choir, the clear and heartfelt readings. Our daughter lives in England and is married to a professioinal singer whose whole family always takes time out to watch this service. I felt in cinque with them, truly. We talked transatlantically afterwards, and it was wonderful to have shared the service in real time. Many thanks for broadcasting it — and please continue doing so in future years!


Just a short note to thank you for the beautiful Christmas Day presentation of 9 Lessons and Carols. Our family doesn't get to celebrate until new year's, so with the house all lit with trees and lights, I sat by our tree alone and listened with great joy to the presentation. I loved it last year, as well. THANK YOU THANK YOU. It's good to realize that my small contribution to MPR results in such joy for me and for others as well.

Judy Boehme

Dear American Public Media,

thank you for broadcasting "A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols". I belive I first heard it on the radio when I was in high school; that was now some 30 years ago. It is something I look forward to hearing every year.A version of the service is performed at the University of Maryland in College Park; as I work there, I have attended that service several times. But there is no substitute for hearing the service originating at Kings College in Oxford. That performance continues to be authentic, genuine, and uplifting.

Thank you again and Happy Holidays,

Robert Herman, M.D.
Crofton, Maryland

To Whom It May Concern:

My husband, a pastor for a local church, and I really appreciate going to church on Christmas by listening to the Cambridge Lesson and Carols. It is such a blessing not to be responsible for how the service turns out and to be able to relax and hear what the Holy Spirit has to say to us through that service. Thank you.

Dear Youse Guys

I look forward to hearing the Festival of Nine lessons every year — I have several of them taped on cassette to listen to the rest of the Christmas season.

We moved to Mississippi, and I guess I thought it was only broadcast to NJ, but NO!!!!!! here it was this morning on my radio here on Oxford.

Thank you all from my heart, and Merry Christmas!

Juanita Boutin Lockheimer

Member, Mississippi Public Broadcasting

My husband and I wish to thank you for continuing the performance after the credits. The organ exit music is usually cut off, and it was a great pleasure to hear it. We also enjoyed the historical review of choral recordings until the hour at 9:00 AM. We listen every year, and the only thing missing is that the mood is broken so quickly at the end of the broadcast; this year we were let down gently. Thank you again for this traditional and improved program.

Edith and Geerat Vermeij

Davis, California

from Kings College Chapel, Cambridge. Sitting arm in arm this morning with the Washington, DC winter sunlight angling through our living room window, the sounds of Christmas eve scripture and music filling our home certainly made our Christmas celebration this year. Thank you so very much and may the blessings of the season be yours.

Jerry & Jeannie Herbert

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for the "extras" following Nine Lessons and Carols! A great broadcast as usual.

Bill Bunge
Shippensburg, Pa.
Member WITF-FM

A thousand thank-you's!!

What a joy this morning to be able to hear, uninterrupted, the service of Lessons & Carols!

From time to time, I've attended lessons & Carols in an American church and, while well done, it's not the same. They lack the British accent, the British touch, the "right" version of the Bible and, frequently, the boy choir.

Perhaps I should explain: I've lived in Ohio for over 50 years, but I'm a Canadian and my father was British. While growing up in Vancouver, he and I occasionally attended the Anglican church where I learned prayers and music which are still very much a part of who I am today.

Many thanks for airing this program which I heard over station WKSU (Kent) It fed my soul and I'm glad to have this opportunity to say thank you for this Christmas Eve blessing.

Constance T. Jenkins

What a blessing this morning's program was! My phone didn't ring even once — I was able to listen without interruption

Thank you so much for broadcasting the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College again this year. This is my absolute favorite Christmas radio program and I go out of my way to plan the day so that I won't miss it! I was hunting around on the Internet yesterday to find out what time it would be broadcast. My local station, WSHU, doesn't usually have it (that I know of) so I catch it on WNYC. I was disappointed to see that I couldn't find out when WNYC would broadcast it — if at all — until today, as their website only gives the program schedule for the current day, not a day ahead. I got up this morning and found that the Festival would not be broadcast on WNYC until 8 PM tonight, which meant I could not listen to it, as I have to be at my church to sing in the choir in the evening (and I don't have an iPod). It's great for people who have to work today, though, so I understand the decision to air it in the evening. Then I hunted further and found that Vermont Public Radio was broadcasting it live (10 AM Eastern) and I could get it via streaming audio. I have just finished listening to it and it was as wonderful as always!

Thank you again!

Elsa Peterson Obuchowski

Just a brief "thank you" for continuing to provide Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings College Cambridge every Christmas Eve. I have listened for many years. My Christmas celebration seems incomplete if I miss it. Several years ago American Public Media and BBC presented a live simulcast (radio/TV). I would like to think that could happen again in coming years.

Thanks so much,

Tom M. Jones
South Carolina

I just finished listening to this beautiful broadcast over WHAD Delafield, Wi. Thank you so much for the wonderful classical sacred music that you infuse into your schedule. King's College choirs are of the highest caliber in the performance realm. Again - thank you so much. K. Klatt

Thanks again for another wonderful broadcast of Lessons and Carols. We listen every year — it wouldn't be Christmas without it!

Susan M. Blackwell


Thanks for broadcasting the "Nine Lessons & Carols" from Kings' College. It is a must listening treat during the Christmas season.

Ken Strickler
Cambridge, NY

Dear friends

Thanks so much for arranging for us to hear once again the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols from Kings College, Cambridge, England. We hear the program each year from WNPR, our public radio station here in central Connecticut.

We're most grateful each year for the privilege of hearing this program.

Louis & Gloria Nuechterlein

I found the broadcast of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols At King's College very beautiful and inspiring! Thanks for airing it. I look forward to next year's broadcast.

Helen Kummer


Just want to thank you so much for broadcasting this from King's College. I look forward to it every year!

Thanks so much!

Ann Gildersleeve

Hello! I very much enjoyed listening to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge, on KBYU in Utah this morning. I was born in Britain and have lived in the USA since 1989, and I greatly appreciate being able to hear this service, which I began listening to about 25 years ago, in the US. Thanks for broadcasting it here!

I have one quibble: the presenter's final voiceover began as soon as the organ voluntary started, so listeners were deprived of both the Bach and the piece that followed. That's a shame, as the voluntaries are beautiful and in a sense they are a part of the liturgy too. The service was surely brief enough, at 85 minutes including the Bach, that the credits could have been spoken once the Bach was over. Perhaps this could be done differently in future years.

James Baer

Thank you for such an inspiring program. I have just yearned for excellent Christmas music and messages and this program certainly fulfilled my every expectation. I'm so grateful that we can hear programming such as this when there seems to be so much trash in the media.

I have several Kings College recordings, Christmas and others, and play them frequently.

Thank you again for providing this much needed uplifting and joyous program as well as others. God bless!!!

Joyce Alex, Portland, Oregon

Thank you so much for the live presentation of Lessons & Carols from Cambridge, England. Having been there it makes it even that more special. I hope you will continue this every year.

Kate Chase
Huntington, New York

Dear Mr. Barone:

First, let me thank you and the many others at American Public Media for making it possible to hear live this wonderful Christmas Eve broadcast from King's College Cambridge. (Listened via internet broadcast from WCPE, North Carolina) It is indeed one of our treasured highlights each year!

Unfortunately, I must say I was troubled with your end of service comments...politically correct it may be but your comments really diminished the service. "Happy Holidays?!" Come now Mr. Barone...think about what you have just broadcast! The playwright/author Dorothy Sayers stated that the birth of Christ is "the greatest thing that has ever happened." "Happy holidays?!"

Also, why break in while the organ music is playing? The program guide states that "the congregation is silent during the organ music after the service." Why not adhere to this request for the radio/internet audience? And then, the commissioned recessional on "In the Bleak Midwinter" was entirely left off of the broadcast. Doubtless many would have liked to hear this organ recessional.

Again, thank you for the broadcast. "Christ is born in Bethlehem!" Merry Christmas to you!

Bob Chase
Tacoma, Washington





Thank you so much for providing the Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College. I have been listening to this broadcast on Dec.24, for several years. It is something I look forward to every year. I am usually baking my family's favorite German coffe cake while I am listening, which we traditionally have for breakfast on Christmas morning. Now our children are grown and all in different places, the broadcast brings all to the true meaning of Christmas.

Thank you very much.
Judie Crane

I appreciate the Nine Lessons and Carols being broadcast on the radio. For many years my parents and I listened to it together albeit many miles apart. My father grew up in England and always had tears in his eyes as he listened. This year just my mother and I are listening here on earth (as my father passed away this year), but that my father is listening with us just the same. This has become a Christmas tradition that my children have carried with them.

Again, thank you.

Cathryn Marino
Mauricetown, New Jersey

Many thanks for broadcasting King's College, Cambridge, festival of nine lessons and carols. I listened on KVOD-FM, Denver.

==Deborah Hayes
Boulder, Colorado

Thank you for once again broadcasting in the USA the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge, via the BBC feed.

It always brings joy to our hearts to hear this most festive serivce, and relive our experience there some years ago.

If there were any way possible to hear the organ music without announcements at the end, or to hear more of the music that is played after the service is over, that would bring still more delight.

Thank you again for the privilege of "sitting in the choir"!

Rob Watson

This program has become over the last decade a regular and very enjoyed part of our family celebration at Christmas. It is now a family tradition with us. Thank you for providing this beautiful and fitting reminder of the true meaning of this festive season throughout the world.

Sincerely with much appreciation,

Philip Muir
Listening on WKAR-FM
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan

Thank you for providing the annual broadcast of "Nine Lessons and Carols" from Cambridge. It is my one non-negotiable event of the year. Unfortunately, since moving to Tennessee, I can't get the broadcast locally but thanks to the magic of streaming on the Internet, I have several options.

Thanks again.

Harry Vaught
Maryville, Tennessee

Why must you *always* talk over the prelude and postlude? They are as much a part of the service as the Lessons and the Carols—not simply "filler" music. Save your production notes for after the poor organist is finished playing!

Rebekah R. Ingram

King's College Chapel

More from King's College

History of the service, from the King's College site

Visit the King's College Chapel website to view this year's Order of Service as well as information about the Chapel and the Choir. Also find out more about the Chapel Foundation and how to become a supporter. The Chapel Foundation, established in 1997, raises funds to preserve King's College's international heritage and secure its future.

King's College Chapel Architectural Details

360-degree Panoramic views inside King's College Chapel

Music - the gift of the season - give today

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