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Music for Advent weekend at Hereford Cathedral

Christmas Sparkle Organ Concert and Advent Carol Service at Hereford Cathedral

The Christmas season begins with Music for Advent weekend at Hereford Cathedral, two special events on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December 2017.

Peter Dyke, Assistant Director of Music at Hereford Cathedral, gives his annual ‘Christmas Sparkle’ lunchtime organ recital at 1.15 pm on Saturday 2 December. Admission is free with a retiring collection in aid of Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust.

‘All the music will have a seasonal flavour,’ said Peter, ‘and Christmas favourites such as “The Snowman” and the “The Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy” from Tchaikovsky’s popular “Nutcracker” suite will be included in the programme. Some work has been done to the Willis organ’s unique glockenspiel stop, so there will be a good chance to hear this distinctive and festive sound. But there will also be some of the darker drama of Advent!’

The cathedral’s Advent Procession with Lessons and Carols takes place at 3.30 pm on Sunday 3 December with music provided by the Cathedral Choir directed by Geraint Bowen and accompanied by Peter Dyke. No tickets are required for this very special and atmospheric event marking the beginning of the church’s year and the start of preparations for Christmas.

The service is based on the pre-Reformation Advent Offices of the English Church, and is full of music and texts chosento emphasise that Advent is not only a season of preparation for the birth of Christ, but also a challenging time of making ready for his second coming as judge of the world. It starts with a slow procession through the cathedral nave from west to east, leaving behind the darkness of night and moving towards the light of the rising sun, towards the dawning of a new age in which the love of God is triumphant over sin and death.

This movement is reflected in the sequence of lessons, which, through the words of the prophets, tell the story of how the ancient people of God (the Jews) looked forward to the coming of God’s Kingdom, when there would be a new order of justice and righteousness. The final lesson recounts the baptism of Christ, which marked the beginning of his public ministry.

All are very welcome to attend both of these events.

Details of other Advent, Christmas and Epiphany services can be found on the Hereford Cathedral website

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Full list of Christmas events at Hereford Cathedral