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17th Annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

On Saturday, December 11, St. John Cantius Parish hosted the 17th annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

The Festival, which originates in the Anglican Church, is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music. Special thanks to the Most Rev. Bishop Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Chicago who presided and read the final lesson as well as the Honorable 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. who read the 8th lesson during the solemn service.

At St. John Cantius, the Festival is traditionally celebrated after first Vespers of Gaudete Sunday. It is concluded with exposition and benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and is thus a splendid way for the participants to prepare for the coming of Christ on Christmas.


Join us for the 17th Annual Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols on Saturday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m. Dine with us at the Fundraiser Dinner at 5:00 p.m. which includes reserved seating for the concert. Place a commemorative Ad in our Ad book and join us for the concert at 7:00 p.m.! Several ways to support St. John Cantius Church.

This much-anticipated event features voices uplifted in song, and spirits uplifted with tradition and reverence. This century-old tradition blends Sacred Scripture and Sacred Music. It is a cherished event for our church, our community, and beyond.

Enjoy singing classic carols with our choirs accompanied by our massive Casavant Pipe Organ, nicknamed “Tina Mae.” Hear the Christmas story read from the famous “nine lessons” taken from the Bible. Let your heart be warmed by youthful voices of our Magnificat Choir. Start your Christmas celebration right with beautiful Christmas Music from St. John Cantius, as the stunning voices of our St. Cecilia Choir sing to the Infant Lord of Bethlehem.

7:00 pm Organ Prelude

7:30 pm Lessons & Carols Service

$15 (Adult)

$10 (Seniors [60 and over] and Student ID)

$5 (Youth 6-18)

Tickets available at the door. Doors open at 6 pm.

NB: Members of Religious Orders in habit, as well as members of the U.S. Armed Forces in uniform and first responders, will receive free admission to the music program.



Tickets for the Dinner are closed. Thank you!

Dinner begins at 5:00 p.m. with wine and hors d'oeuvres followed by a three-course dinner, coffee, and dessert. Tickets include dinner & Concert. $150

Below you will find the printable Ticket & Ad Reservation Form. Please download the .pdf and contact Alyssa at the St. John Cantius Parish Office (312) 243-7373 with your reservation details or any questions.

2021 L&C ticket reservation form
Download PDF • 868KB


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