This Advent Procession begins our annual celebration of the good news of the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Historically, the Advent service is a movement from darkness to light, mirroring the journey of the human race from the darkness of sorrow and death into the light of Christâ€™s dawning Kingdom of justice and joy. The service will begin in darkness as the Choir sings the Advent Prose. As the great Advent Antiphons and words of scripture proclaim the coming of a new King of Love, the light gradually dawns and more and more candles are lit, until the Cathedral is ablaze with the light and hope of Christâ€™s promised return. The main direction of movement in an Advent procession has traditionally been from the West towards the East because looking to the East is symbolic of keeping watch for the coming Kingdom of God.
This central theme of the Advent service is reinforced by the words of the Advent Antiphons which were traditionally sung in the days leading up to Christmas. Each antiphon calls Christ to return by one of his prophetic titles â€˜O wisdom, O root of Jesse, O Key of David - come!â€™ They build up into a poignant cry for help on behalf of all the suffering people in the world. The first letters of each antiphonâ€™s title for Christ in Latin, when reversed, form the Latin phrase: ERO CRAS. â€˜Tomorrow I will be there.â€™ It is as if Christ is responding to his people's desperate cries and reminding us that he is truly coming. â€˜Even so, come Lord Jesus.â€™