Monday, 1 December 2008

December Diary

The majority of December falls in the season of Advent. It is often difficult for churches - perhaps especially cathedrals - to resist the trend to make Christmas ever earlier, and yet Advent has a character all of its own which should not be lost. Perhaps the highlight of Advent is the beautiful 'O antiphons', sung daily at Vespers (17th-23rd). There is a range of Advent 'carol services', including one for the parish (14th). A reconciliation service (with individual confession) takes place on 16th, giving us an extra opportunity to prepare for the Lord's coming. The main concert for December is the Lancashire Sinfonietta, returning for the ever-popular 'Candlelight Baroque' (12th). When Christmas does eventually come, the season begins with Sung Office of Readings and First Vespers (24th), then Midnight Mass and Mass at 10:30am on Christmas Day. There is also a Low Mass (Tridentine) at 12:15pm. Mass will be celebrated at the usual times during the days following Christmas. The year ends with Sung Vepsers and the Te Deum on 31st December at 6pm.