Based on ancient Christian vigils, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was composed by E. W. Benson in 1880 for his Christmas Eve service.  The service in its current format was first held in 1918 following World War I.  Rev. Eric Milner-White had served as an army chaplain, and the war had taken a heavy toll on his flock.  He wanted to do something special and deliver some level of comfort amidst the horror of war.  During the early 1920s more and more people attended the service, and by 1928 it was picked up by the BBC for broadcast throughout the British Isles.  The service remains basically unchanged today.  Wherever the service is heard and however it is adapted, the pattern and strength of the service derives from the lessons and not the music.  The loving purposes of God are revealed through the words of the Bible and augmented by the music of the season.

Please join Rev. Matt Ashley and Sedona UMC as we celebrate the third Sunday in Advent on 12/15.  The chancel choir will perform their cantata of songs with narration and miracles starting at 9:30 am.  Please come early to get a great spot for this very popular service!  Sedona UMC is located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road, just off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona.  Please plan now to join us for our Christmas Open House and luncheon after the 12/22 service and on Christmas Eve at 3pm or the candlelight service at 7pm.  Call 928-282-1780 for more information.  All are welcome and childcare is provided.