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A service of Lessons and Carols for Christmas was first developed in 1880 by Bishop Edward Benson of Truro (who eventually became the Archbishop of Canterbury). A later adaptation by King’s College, Cambridge, became widely known. Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa has further adapted this iconic Christmas liturgy, using readings and carols to narrate the story of God’s loving purpose in creation: from the beginning of time and the covenant God made with humankind—to humankind’s abandonment of that covenant and the promise of redemption by the holy child of Bethlehem.

The lessons are read by individuals from the diverse Cathedral community. This service is offered as a gesture of peace and goodwill to the people of the Nation’s Capital.