Celebrating the holidays through the voices of MMA cadets and faculty members, MMA's 78th Annual Evensong will be held at Mexico United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 7 at 6 p.m.
Evensong, described as a "Festival of Lessons and Carols," is a free event open to the public. It will feature live readings and musical performances by members of the Missouri Military Academy Choir, Chamber Wind Ensemble and the MMA Faculty Chorus.
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 winter furlough. In 2013, MMA began the tradition of bringing Evensong to the community, hosting it in the Mexico United Methodist Church located at 122 E. Promenade St., Mexico, Missouri.
Following the 78th Evensong celebration, cadets and their families are invited back to MMA’s campus to enjoy holiday parties in each company’s recreation room. Holiday parties will feature snacks, refreshments, music and entertainment until 10 p.m.
Cadets are welcome to check out with their families after the holiday parties, but must return by 5 p.m. the following day.