First responders will be honored during The Festival of Lessons and Carols on Sunday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 601 Columbus Ave.

This non-denominational service begins at 4 p.m., and the public is invited. No collection will be taken, according to a release from the church.

The program will include Scripture readings, hymns, carols and organ music, the church announced. Special music, arranged and conducted by church member Andy Eaton, also will be performed. Organist Jeffrey Peters will provide accompaniment.

Those scheduled to read include McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara, Waco Police Chief Ryan Holt, Baylor Department of Public Safety Chief Brad Wigtil, Lacy Lakeview Fire Chief Patty Faulkner, Lacy Lakeview Police Chief John Truehitt and Texas Rangers Company F Lt. James Thomas.

The program will last 75 minutes, and will be followed by a time of fellowship and the serving of English wassail and cookies, said Becky Whitton, program and staff support assistant at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

This year, Whitton said, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is joining other congregations in celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Festival of Lessons and Carols. The event was first broadcast on radio from Kings College at Oxford in England in 1918, according to information provided by St. Paul’s.

Church rector, the Rev. Raymond Joe Waldon, or Father Ray, a former newspaper columnist and national TV broadcaster, will welcome guests.

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