Chichester Cathedral is preparing for Christmas with a range of services open to all over the festive period.
In the run-up to Christmas Day, the cathedral is hosting three carol services with the renowned cathedral choir, telling the story of the birth of Jesus Christ through readings and music. The choir’s language skills will be fully tested this year as the music in these special services requires them to sing in five different languages (English, Latin, German, Spanish, French), with one of the carols composed by a member of the choir, George Haynes.
The carol services will take place tonight (Friday, December 21) at 6pm, and tomorrow (Saturday, December 22) at 3pm. The cathedral will open an hour before the start of each service. These services are open to all, no tickets are needed and entry is free.
The cathedral is also hosting two Christmas Eve crib services for families, taking place at 2.30pm and 4pm. The ‘blessing of the crib’ sees children helping to re-enact the Christmas story, often by dressing up in their own costumes, as angels, shepherds or wise men, and being invited to bring the crib scene to life. This traditional Christmas carol service is open to all, dressed up or not, and lasts about 40 minutes.
Services on Christmas Eve will be accompanied by choral music and Bible readings, with a special Choral Evensong, sung by the cathedral choir, at 5.30pm, followed by the Midnight Eucharist, with the Bishop of Chichester, taking place at 11pm.
On Christmas Day, a service of Holy Communion will take place at 8am, followed by Choral Mattins at 10am and the Sung Eucharist for Christmas Day at 11am. Evening prayer will take place at 5.30pm.
Visitors to the cathedral over the Christmas period will also be able to enjoy a spectacular laser Star of Bethlehem, projected over the Cathedral Nave, and a set of restored nativity figures, on display in the Sailors’ Chapel until Christmas Eve when they will be moved to the High Altar.
Further details on all the services and events taking place at Chichester Cathedral can be found at chichestercathedral.org.uk