The Christmas joy was tangible Wednesday evening as Groton School hosted its third and final 2014 Service of Nine Lessons & Carols, a favorite holiday tradition that dates back to 1928 at the School.
St. John's Chapel filled to capacity, and more than 500 people viewed a livestream of the December 17 service, tuning in from Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Portugal, St. Barts, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and all over the United States.
Groton's Choir, under the guidance of new Choirmaster and Organist Daniel Moriarty, sang traditional hymns and carols in a festive show of Christmas spirit, punctuated by religious readings—the lessons. The service began with a prelude by the Groton School Chamber Orchestra, directed by Tim Terranella.
The Chapel also held capacity crowds for the two prior services, on December 12 and 14. The first service drew people from the surrounding areas, while the second attracted alumni and faculty. The final service each year is dedicated to Groton’s on-campus community.
Choir soloists during the three services included students Jared Belsky '15, Lily Edwards '15, Phoebe Fry '17, Trevor Fry '15, Lilias Kim '18, Emma Rimmer '16, and Angus Warren '16. Most of the lessons were read by students, but parents, alumni, and faculty also participated, and during the December 12 service, lessons were read by Elea Kemler, Minister at the First Parish Church in Groton; Dan Scheibe, Headmaster of Lawrence Academy; and Joyce Scherer-Hoock, Rector at St. Andrew’s Church in Ayer. Groton’s former headmaster, William Polk, read the penultimate lesson at the final two services, and Groton’s headmaster, Temba Maqubela, read the final lesson at all three.
The Christmas celebration was both heralded and concluded by the Groton School Bell Ringers pealing the bells in St. John's Chapel.
Lessons & Carols, an English tradition, is one of Groton School’s most beloved celebrations. See Lessons & Carols photographs on our multimedia page. (Photos by Mike Sperling)