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The cathedral is all prepared for Advent Sunday this Sunday – the New Year’s Day of the Church’s year!
The stunning Advent banners, a well-known feature of Ripon Cathedral, are now hanging down the great pillars of the nave. They carry verses from scripture that are traditionally used in the evening services from 17-23 December and refer to different aspects of Christ’s life and mission. The last of these bears the words ‘O Emmanuel’ the Hebrew for ‘God With Us’ reminding us of the good news that we are preparing to celebrate.
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson said:
Advent is all about preparing to celebrate the coming of Christ both in his birth in Bethlehem and in the future when he returns to put the world to rights.
Our spiritual preparation through these busy weeks of December can also help us to recognise Christ’s presence in our lives today and the ways in which he already reigns in our world.
In our service on Sunday morning at 10.30am the first candle will be lit on the Advent wreath, marking the counting down of the weeks to Christmas.
Our acclaimed choir has been working hard to prepare for the spectacular 5.30pm Advent Procession on Sunday when carols and candlelight will celebrate the Advent themes of watching and waiting in hope for the world.
- The Story of Christmas with Carols, the timeless and inspiring story led by guest narrator – actor Chris Chittell on Saturday Dec 1 at 7.30pm. (Tickets still available at the door.)
- The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on December 23 and 24 at 5.30pm; these see the cathedral packed for the incomparable telling of the story of Christmas in readings and carols.
- Then at 11am on Christmas Eve we Journey to Bethlehem; a wonderfully relaxed opportunity for grown-ups and children alike. Children are invited to dress as characters from the nativity and join in the story – followed by refreshments.
- Midnight Mass starts at 11pm on Christmas Eve and includes the Blessing of the Crib and then on Christmas Day our popular 10.30am service takes place when choristers will be keeping the Ripon tradition of giving everyone an apple.