The Bowdoin chapel will be aglow with lights on Sunday as a group of volunteers, including students, faculty, staff and Brunswick residents come together for "Lessons and Carols." The Christmas celebration has become a Bowdoin tradition, taking place the last Sunday of the fall semester before reading period each year. The chapel will be open to the public on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. for a candle-lit ceremony with Christmas carols, lessons and holiday spirit.
A student-directed choir is assembled yearly to sing the traditional carols at the event. This year, junior Chris Li is directing the choir, which consists of a cappella group members, Bowdoin chamber choir and chorus members, and other students. "Lessons and Carols" is one of the few occasions during which individual members of a cappella groups perform songs together. Every Bowdoin a capella group will be represented at the event by at least one of its members. The choir has been rehearsing once a week since late October under Li's direction and with the help of Robbie Greenlee, director of the Chamber choir. The congregation will sing traditional Christmas songs, such as "Hark the Herald Angels sing" and "The First Noel."
Between performances, designated orators will read nine different lessons about the birth of Christ. This year's readers include Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols, Director of Residential Life Mary Pat McMahon, Dean of First Year Students Janet Lohmann, Associate Dean of Admissions Elmer Moore and Professor of Government Jean Yarbrough.
"It's a nice way to cap off the year," Li said. "It's one of those traditions where you feel like you're sharing pieces of your childhood with people you may have just met. It's about the music and the celebration."