Chichester Cathedral is delighted to share Carols from Chichester Cathedral – a 50 minute Carol Service filmed with the Cathedral’s famous Choir, under the direction of Organist and Master of the Choristers Charles Harrison and with organ accompaniment from Tim Ravalde.
Music is central to celebrations for Advent and Christmas, and to enable this to continue in a year when churches can only welcome very limited numbers of visitors in person, Carols from Chichester Cathedral allows the people of Sussex and beyond to take part in this tradition from the comfort of their own homes.
The service has subtitles and has been especially written and recorded for online congregations, telling the Christmas story with a selection of carols. Bible readings and poetry can also be found in the service, read by individuals representing local organisations and charities, including Stonepillow, Goodwood Farm, BBC Radio Sussex, Midwives from the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Patron of the Cathedral's Festival of Flowers Hugh Bonneville.
The service has also been made available to care-homes, hospices, schools and parishes across the Diocese of Chichester.
Charles Harrison, Organist and Master of the Choristers said:
“Six months without singing was a big gap in the life of the Cathedral choir, but it was wonderful to see the choristers bounce back with terrific determination and cheerfulness. Christmas is always an exciting and busy time for the choir: social distancing means smaller congregations in the Cathedral, but the pre-recorded service has the potential to reach many thousands of people all over the world. This recording was a completely new venture for us, and it brought the Cathedral community together in a great team effort. At the end of a difficult year, we really hope this will offer beauty and inspiration.”
The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, Dean of Chichester, said:
“On behalf of all of us at Chichester Cathedral, we invite you to join us for this very special service for 2020. Sing along with the Cathedral Choir and experience the comfort and joy that Christmas brings as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.”
As well as regular services, special services for Advent and Christmas at the Cathedral will also be live-streamed including the Cathedral Carol Service on Saturday 19th December; First Evensong of Christmas on Thursday 24th December; Midnight Mass on Thursday 24th December and the Christmas Day Eucharist on Friday 25th December.
The Cathedral’s plans for Advent and Christmas invite everyone to come together in celebration, under the banner of Drop Down, Ye Heavens– referring to the ancient Advent antiphon Rorate caeli: ‘Drop down ye heavens, and let the skies pour down righteousness’.
Carols from Chichester Cathedral is free to view via the Cathedral’s website, however donations are most welcome. The Cathedral has launched a fundraising initiative to raise its running costs through the 12 days of Christmas. It costs £3,000 a day to protect our sacred heritage, so they are aiming to raise £36,000 this festive season.