Both Mojácar’s Catholic and Anglican Churches recently held their traditional Festival of the Nine Lessons, as one of the first of many events planned for the Christmas period.
The annual joint event between faiths brings together the communities, which includes the readings from Genesis in Spanish and English, along with traditional carols from both cultures with the participation of Mojácar’s Escálamo and Rociero Embrujo Mojaquero Choirs.
The celebration was officiated by the Catholic Priest of the Santa María Parish Church, Miguel José Esteban Jerez, along with Reverend Vincent Oram from the San Pascual Anglican Church.
Also present at the service were; Mojácar’s Mayor, Rosmari Cano, María Luisa Pérez, Councillor to the Mayor’s Office, Raquel Belmonte, Councillor for Culture and Ana García, Councillor for Education.
The old Anglican Advent tradition of The Nine Lessons and Christmas Carols dates way back to 1880, when Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, created the pre-Christmas event in Cornwall which then went on to be a popular event throughout the world. The Nine Lessons begin with Genesis and end with the Gospel of Luke, following the story of man’s fall, the promise of a new covenant and the coming of a Messiah culminating in the birth of Jesus Christ.
Today, the readings of the Nine Lessons, interspersed with traditional carols and choral music, have become an Advent tradition in services around the world, just as it is in Mojácar. At the end of the event, both priests closed their readings with the prologue of Saint John, delivered in Spanish and English.
As every year, Mojácar’s Santa María Church drew a large multinational congregation of Catholics and Anglicans, all coming together to celebrate this festive time and the lead up to some of the most meaningful days of the year.