Chichester Cathedral has unveiled its plans for Advent and Christmas, inviting the Chichester community and beyond 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’.
With the many changes experienced throughout the pandemic, Chichester Cathedral has found new ways to reach out to the community and will continue to do so for the Advent and Christmas period.
Joining together in song is central to these celebrations, and to enable this to continue the Cathedral will present both a pre-recorded and live-streamed carol service. The pre-recorded service – A Carol Service from Chichester – will have subtitles and will be made available from mid-December through the Cathedral website and will also be distributed to care-homes, schools and groups across the Diocese. The service has been especially written and recorded for on-line congregations and will tell the Christmas story with a selection of carols, bible readings and poetry.
Regular and Special Services
Since the start of the first lockdown, the Cathedral has live-streamed services, with large numbers engaging from all around the world. These now form an integral part of the pattern of daily worship and number around 10 per week. As well as regular services, special services for Advent and Christmas will also be live-streamed including the Advent Procession on Sunday 6th December; the Cathedral Carol Service on Saturday 19th December; First Evensong of Christmas on Thursday 24th December and the Christmas Day Eucharist on Friday 25th December. We are working on plans for welcoming congregations to the Cathedral for these services in line with Government guidance.
Visual Arts will be an integral part of the celebrations in the form of a very special arts project in the Cathedral which will be unveiled to the public from the 10th December. The project will herald some of the heroes, from the Chichester community and across the Diocese, who have made an impact throughout the pandemic.
Resources From Home
Online spiritual resources will be provided to access from home, which will include a new Advent Calendar of music, art and stories shared daily on social media channels. There will also be activities for children and families, exploring the story of the Nativity.
The 12 Days of Christmas
The Cathedral will also be launching 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.
The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, Dean of Chichester, said:
“On behalf of all of us at Chichester Cathedral, I wish you comfort and joy as we approach this jubilant time of year. We invite you to join our us for Advent and Christmas celebrations which have been built upon the considerable experience gained over the last months in meeting new challenges and continuing to witness to the love of God for his people, as the Cathedral has done for more than 900 years.”