MMA's 77th Evensong will be held at Mexico United Methodist Church on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. The event will celebrate the holidays through the voices of MMA cadets and faculty members.
Evensong, described as a "Festival of Lessons and Carols," is a free event open to the public. The event draws hundreds of parents, cadets, community members and other guests each year. It will feature musical performances by members of the Missouri Military Academy Choir, Chamber Wind Ensemble and the MMA Faculty Chorus, and there will be live readings.
The MMA Evensong is a celebration of the Christmas story, similar to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols held in the King's College Chapel in Cambridge. The festival dates back to the Christmas Eve of 1918, when it was first held in the chapel one month after World War I ended. The service was developed by Eric Milner-White, who was the young, newly appointed dean of King's College at the time. Milner-White had previously served as an army chaplain.
The Evensong program began at MMA in 1941, less than a month after the Japanese attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor, drawing the country into World War II. Since the Academy had no chapel, the event was held in the gymnasium under the direction of Capt. Eugene Lamm. Since then, Evensong has traditionally served as a joyful start to the Christmas furlough. In 2013, MMA began the tradition of bringing Evensong to the community, hosting it in the historic Christopher Wrenn chapel on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, the First Presbyterian Church of Mexico and the Mexico United Methodist Church.
Mexico United Methodist Church is located at 122 E. Promenade St., Mexico, Missouri.