York Minster is preparing to mark Advent and Christmas with traditional and breath-taking services, seasonal concerts and family-friendly events throughout December.
From moments of quiet reflection to the cathedral’s most popular events and services of the year - the Christmas Carol Concerts and Nine Lessons and Carols - special services, festive events, seasonal traditions and music will celebrate the season’s themes of anticipation, hope and joy.
The Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, Dean of York said: “Advent and Christmas lies at the very heart of the Christian faith as it marks the start of the Christian year and the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a time of anticipation and preparation and for poignant reflection. Everyone is invited to come and experience York Minster at this very special time of year. A warm welcome is guaranteed.”
Advent officially starts on Sunday 1 December with the Advent Procession service. The full list of services, events and activities throughout December is set out below:
Sunday 1 December – Advent Procession, 5.15pm (doors open at 4.15pm)
An atmospheric and breath-taking candlelit service of music, and prayers for Advent, in celebration of the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.
Friday 6 December – Sankta Lucia: Festival of Light, 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm)
A traditional candlelit Swedish service for all the family.
Saturday 7 December – Handel’s Messiah, 7pm
Conducted by Robert Sharpe, Director of Music, the York Minster Choir performs Handel’s popular and celebrated oratorio.
Thursday 12 and Friday 13 December – York Minster Choir Christmas Carol Concerts, 7pm
Please note: both performances are sold out.
Christmas Week Services at York Minster
Sunday 22 and Tuesday 24 December - Nine Lessons and Carols, 4pm
The first of two services consisting of nine special readings, carols sung by the York Minster Choir and hymns for everyone to join in. A traditional Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas Eve – Tuesday 24 December
12noon - Crib Service
Traditional and popular family service.
4pm - Nine Lessons and Carols
The second of two services consisting of nine special readings, carols sung by the York Minster Choir and hymns for everyone to join in. A traditional Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
11.30pm - First Eucharist of Christmas
Traditional 'Midnight Mass' with music from the St William's Singers and York Young Soloists.
Christmas Day – Wednesday 25 December
8am - Holy Communion
10am - Sung Eucharist of Christmas Day
The traditional Christmas Day service sung by the York Minster Choir.
Preacher: The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
11:45am - Christmas Day Choral Matins
4pm - Christmas Day Choral Evensong (sung by the York Minster Choir).
Saturday 14 December – Embroidery workshop, 10am until 1pm
Please note: this workshop is sold out.
Saturday 14 December - Sunday 5 January, What does Christmas mean to you?
Come and add your Christmas reflections to our beautiful Christmas trees as we prepare our hearts and homes for Advent and Christmas.
Saturday 14 December - Sunday 5 January, Family Christmas Activity Trail
Discover more about the Christmas story by exploring the activity stops hidden around the Minster. Follow a trail with items to look at, touch, smell and discuss at each stop.