The Very Rev’d Catherine Ogle, has given her first Christmas message as Dean of Winchester.
“In the depths of winter, and in the darkest night, the bright lights of Christmas sparkle with hope for new life and new hope. It’s a great privilege to celebrate my first Christmas in Winchester, as Dean, and to share in offering the joyful hospitality of the Cathedral and the Cathedral Close to so many people from across the region, and beyond. At Christmas we remember a simple but precious truth, that the greatest gift we can give or receive is love. The poet Christina Rossetti wrote, ‘What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb. If I were a wise man, I would do my part. Yet what I can I give him, give my heart.’ The Christ child asks for room in our hearts and lives so that we can be filled with love, joy and hope. We warmly invite you to join us for worship in the Cathedral and hope that the love and joy of the season will fill your heart. May God bless you this Christmas.”
Advent and Christmas celebrations at Winchester Cathedral have been taking place since the end of November, from the annual Advent Procession to carol services for a variety of schools and other organisations.
The Cathedral’s Christmas celebrations will continue this Friday, with the annual Christmas Carol Concert on Friday 15th December at 7pm, when Dean Catherine and BBC South Today’s Sally Taylor lead four of the Cathedral’s choirs in a programme entitled Come Let us Adore Him. Tickets for this concert are from the Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857275 and www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk.
The next day, Saturday 16th December at 1pm the Cathedral Chamber Choir, conducted by George Castle sing carols for Advent and Christmas, and, on Sunday 17th December there will be a short afternoon family Carol Service sung by the Cathedral Choir, designed for shoppers at the Christmas Market, but all are welcome.
This year’s traditional Carol Services will be on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st December at which the Cathedral Choir will lead the congregation in a celebration of traditional and new carols. Tickets are not required and seating is first come, first served, so it members of the congregation are advised to arrive in good time.
On Friday 22nd December, the boy and girl choristers will sing Britten’s Ceremony of Carols at 1pm Admission is free of charge with a retiring collection.
As Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year, the family services will be on Saturday 23rd December, when children can dress as shepherds, wise men, angels and townspeople and join the Holy Family at the crib.
Sunday morning services on Christmas Eve will be at 7.30am (Morning Prayer), 8.00am (Holy Communion) and 10am (Sung Eucharist). Later that day, the main crib will be blessed with carols (3.30) and the Bishop of Winchester will preside at the Midnight Eucharist at 11.30pm (main doors only open at 10.30pm) as we welcome in Christmas itself.
Then, on Christmas Day, there are services at 8.00 (Holy Communion), 10.00 (Choral Mattins – preacher The Dean), 11.15 (Sung Eucharist – preacher The Bishop) and the day concludes with Choral Evensong and a procession to the Christmas Tree at 3.30 (no sermon).
All are welcome to services, admission to which is free, and all of the community at Winchester Cathedral wish you a merry and blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.
FULL SERVICE LISTINGS
Cathedral Carol Concert Friday 15 December, 7pm Carols by the Choral Foundation presented by The Dean of Winchester and BBC South Today’s Sally Taylor. Tickets: £15 to £40 are from the Cathedral Box Office – 01962 857 275 and www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk.
Cathedral Chamber Choir Concert Saturday 16 December, 1pm Carols for Advent and Christmas. Admission free with a retiring collection
A Christmas Celebration – family carol service
Sunday 18 December at 3.30pm Family-friendly afternoon carol service. Visitors to the Cathedral’s Christmas Market and Ice Rink are especially welcome. Congregational carols led by the Cathedral Choir.
Cathedral Carol Services
Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 December, 6.30pm A wonderful service filled with beautiful music sung by the Cathedral Choir. Tickets are not required.
Britten’s Ceremony of Carols
Friday 22 December, 1pm
Written for Christmas, this is one of Britten’s most popular works. Performed by the Cathedral Choristers. Free admission, although a retiring collection will be taken.
Saturday 23 December, 11am and 3pm
Family Service (children are encouraged to dress as characters from the Christmas story and for those that wish, join together at the front of the nave during the service.)
Christmas Eve 7.35am: Morning Prayer
8am: Holy Communion
10.00: Sung Eucharist
5.30pm: Blessing of the Crib
11.30pm: Midnight Eucharist