The Catholic and Anglican Churches of Mojácar celebrate together the traditional Christmas Festival of Nine Lessons
The protagonists of one of the first acts featured on the 2021 Mojácar Christmas programme are the two most important churches in the locality’s religious life.
The Festival of Nine Lessons signifies a gathering of the Catholic and Anglican faithful around the reading of Genesis in both languages, as well as an exchange of traditional Christmas carols from both cultures, in which the “Embrujo Mojaquero” choir took part.
The celebration was officiated by the Mojácar Santa María Catholic Church Parish Priest, Victor Manuel Fernandez, and by the Costa de Almería Anglican Reverend, Vincent Oram, from the San Pascual Anglican Church, also located in Mojácar in the area known as Agua en Medio.
As is customary for this celebration, Spanish and British faithful, Catholic and Protestant, gathered in the Santa María Parish Church, to jointly and emotionally celebrate this time of Advent, a prelude to the most important days of the year for the faithful of both communities.
Among the many people in attendance was Mojácar Mayor, Rosa María Cano, as well as members of her government team: Safety Councillor María Luisa Pérez, Education Councillor Ana García, and Culture Councillor Raquel Belmonte.
The Anglican tradition of holding the Nine Lessons Festival during Advent dates back to 1880, when the Archbishop of Canterbury designed the service for Christmas Eve in Cornwall in the UK. It’s a service of nine short lessons from the Bible in which the story of the fall of humanity and the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus is usually outlined.
The readings by the faithful begin with the Old Testament. By the hand of the prophet Isaiah, the birth of Jesus is announced, and the apostles Luke, Matthew and John narrate the impact of his birth on the world. The lessons, in Spanish and English, are interspersed with Christmas carols also typical from both cultures.
With the Santa María Parish Church decorated for Christmas, it is worth noting the presence for this celebration of the Parish Nativity scene, installed by Mojácar parishioners.
This Nativity of great beauty is the work of Murcian creator Jesús Griñán from Puente Tocinos, renowned for some of the best Nativity scene makers in Murcia, with a grand modelling tradition.
Although the central figures of the Nativity scene have been in the parish for a long time, new depictions of Jesus’s life have been acquired over time from the same sculptor, so that today it is a display of great artistic and cultural value.