THREE GREAT PROCESSIONAL SERVICES MARK ADVENT, CHRISTMAS AND EPIPHANYIssued Friday 3rd October 2008
This year’s three great processional services to mark Advent, Christmas and Epiphany are expected to attract many hundreds from throughout the Diocese and beyond to come and join in the worship at the Cathedral at what is always a special time of year.
The Advent Procession – From Darkness to Light on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November at 7.00pm is one of the most popular services of the liturgical year. The service begins in total darkness and silence as the Advent Candle is lit at the West End of the Cathedral. The service is a mix of music and readings during which two great processions move around the entire Cathedral which is, by the end, illuminated by almost 1300 candles.
The Christmas Procession is on Sunday 21and Monday 22 December at 7.00pm. Here the focus of the procession is the Christmas Crib (Peter Rush’s much-admired papier mache figures) which portrays the story of the birth of Jesus. This is the Cathedral’s carol service with readings interspersed between carols, and for the first time the choir will be joined by a marvellous ensemble of trumpets and trombones.
The Epiphany Procession on Sunday 18 January at 7.00pm commemorates the journey of the Magi coming from the East to worship Jesus, and also follows Jesus through his early life and into manhood.
David Halls, Director of Music, conducts the Cathedral Choir of boy and girl choristers and lay-vicars, and the organist is Daniel Cook, Assistant Director of Music. The three processions are devised by the Precentor, Canon Jeremy Davies, who sees Christmas as the ideal time of year for using the Cathedral as it was originally envisaged as an arena for processions and the great tradition of ‘worship on the move’. He adds “These processions are not just about outward show and ceremony, although they are great spectacles. They are also inviting us on an interior spiritual journey as we try to find the meaning and purpose of life.”
Those who wish to arrive early will be able to queue undercover in the Cloisters where seasonal refreshments are available before the Advent and Christmas services. Access to the Cathedral at 6.00pm will be via the Cathedral Cloisters. These services are not ticketed and all are welcome but please note there can be no admission once all seats are taken. There is no public parking in The Close, however parking will be made available for Disabled Blue Badge holders entering The Close via the High Street Gate.
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