College Welcomes Advent Season With Song, Prayer

Merrimack College Schola on Monday welcomed the Advent season with its fifth annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, which included nine biblical readings prophesying the birth of Christ interspersed with musical selections.

Director of Campus Music Activities Hugh Hinton urged the 200-plus students, faculty and college neighbors who filled the Rogers Center for the Arts theater to treat the event as a liturgical celebration rather than a concert. Each round of the nine biblical passages and carols closed with a prayer.

The Festival of Lessons and Carols was established in England in the 19th century and is now a worldwide phenomenan, Hinton said. They are especially popular at academic institutions.

“It’s a wonderful tradition that we are trying to get established here,” Hinton said. “We are delighted to offer this to the Merrimack community as well as our Merrimack Valley neighbors.”