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The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, as it is formally called, is traditionally used at Christmas.  The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine Bible readings selected from Book of Genesis, the prophetic books and the four Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music.  The format was based on an Order drawn up by the Bishop of Truro inCornwall, Edward White Benson, who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury.