Holy Cross Celebrates 44th Annual Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols

The beloved holiday tradition brought the College community together — on Mount St. James and beyond — to rejoice in the Christmas season.

Embraced in soft, warm light under purple tapestry gently draped from above, the College of the Holy Cross welcomed the Christmas season on Dec. 8 in St. Joseph Memorial Chapel, celebrating its 44th Annual Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols.

The reflective and joyous event, which was also viewed live online by extended Holy Cross families, alumni and friends, marked Advent season and the coming of Christmas with music, song and the spoken word. 

Marybeth Kearns-Barrett ’84, director of the Office of the College Chaplains, welcomed all assembled and asked that as they immerse themselves in songs and readings, that they also “call to mind the peace and justice promised in our scripture.”

Throughout the evening, organ scholar Gavin Klein ’26, members of the College choir and chamber singers, directed by Katie Gardiner, and the Holy Cross orchestra, directed by Michael Carney, serenaded attendees and led them in uplifting, and at times upbeat, selections, including the premiere of “A Hymn for Christmas Day” music by Natasha Rollo ’23 to accompany the 19th-century poem by English poet Christina Rossetti. 

Readers, including College faculty, staff and members of the class of 2023, shared reflections and lessons from scripture. The event can be viewed on the Advent Festival of Lessons & Carols webpage.