As part of this year’s Christmas programme organized by Mojácar Town Council, a moving get together with those from both the Catholic and Evangelical faith was held in the Santa María Parish Church, for the reading of the Nine Lessons and an exchange of traditional carols from both cultures.
The celebration was officiated by the Parish Priest from the Santa Maria Catholic Church, Miguel Jose Esteban Jerez, along with Father Derek from the San Pascual Anglican Church, both located in Mojácar. In attendance also were; Rosmari Cano (Mojácar’s Mayor), María Luisa Pérez, (Councillor for Non-Spanish Speaking Residents) and, Raquel Belmonte (Councillor for Culture).
The Anglican tradition of holding the Festival of the Nine Lessons and carols during the Advent period dates back to 1880, when Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, designed the service for Christmas Eve in Cornwall, England. Today, readings of the Nine Lessons and carols have become an Advent tradition in Anglican communities worldwide.
The nine readings begin with Genesis and end with the Gospel of Luke, following the story of the fall of man, the promise of a new covenant, the coming of a Messiah and, ending with the birth of Jesus Christ. The readings are alternated with the traditional carols and choral music. Both priests closed the readings, in Spanish and English, with the prologue of Saint John. The villancicos were performed by the groups, Coral Escálamo and, the Coro Rociero Embrujo Mojaquero.
Many people of various nationalities, Catholics and Anglicans, joined together to celebrate advent in this emotive service, bringing a festive and joyful touch to the special days leading to the celebration of Christmas.