Special events celebrate start of Advent

02 December 2018
Festive spirit well and truly filled the air at some very special events celebrating the beginning of Advent at Norwich Cathedral. Huge crowds gathered on the Friday before Advent Sunday for the blessing of the outdoor crib which took place during the Cathedral’s annual Advent Open Evening.
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Away in a Manger and O Little Town of Bethlehem were among the carols sung by the Cathedral Choir during the short service led by the Very Revd Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich, and the Revd Canon Andy Bryant, Canon for Mission and Pastoral Care – and some very special farmyard guests also visited the Cathedral for the occasion.

The Dean of Norwich said: “We were delighted to see hundreds of people at the blessing of our Outdoor Crib and once again to welcome Jelly the cow, Spice the donkey and four sheep (named on the night, the Spice Girls), together with their owners.

“Along with the Cathedral Choir this all added to the wonderful atmosphere as we gathered beneath the floodlit Cathedral with Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus in the foreground.

“Having a nativity scene outside the Cathedral means that people can come at any time and stand and think about what Christmas is all about - God giving himself to the world in a tiny, vulnerable baby.”

Following the blessing on Friday, there was also time for people to explore the Cathedral by night and enjoy the newly-decorated Christmas trees as well as walk through a candlelit labyrinth in the Cloister Garth or enjoy some Christmas crafts.

Those missing a loved one could place a star in their memory on the Cathedral's Tree of Remembrance which will stand outside the Hostry until January 5. 

On Sunday evening people of all ages once again gathered at the Cathedral, this time for the Candlelit Advent Procession.

“Through music, readings, prayers and movement, the Advent Procession took us on a journey from the creation of the world to the promise of a Saviour to bring peace, hope and joy to all God’s children,” said the Dean.

All are welcome to attend any of the many festive services at Norwich Cathedral in the run up to Christmas or just simply enjoy the Cathedral’s beautiful surrounds.

This weekend the Cathedral’s Christingle service will take place on Sunday at 3.30pm. The service is in support of the Children’s Society and its work to help vulnerable young people.

For more details about the Christingle service and all of Norwich Cathedral’s Christmas events and services, click here

For a gallery of pictures from the open evening, click here

For a gallery of photos from the Candlelit Advent Procession, click here

Photo above: Bill Smith