Times and Seasons at Wells Cathedral
The four week season of Advent leading up to Christmas, marks the beginning of the Church’s year. The emphasis in Advent is on waiting for the coming of God and so it is a season of hope as we seek to silence the noise of the mind, be still, and wait in expectation.
Though Christmas carols are sung at many services through Advent, the season of Christmas itself really begins a few days before Christmas Day when the Cathedral, lit by thousands of Candles, celebrates, at two great candlelit concerts, the coming of the child of Bethlehem.
The season of Christmas, which includes the celebration of the visit of the wise men to the child at Epiphany, lasts for forty days and ends with the Feast of Candlemas on February 2nd when a special evensong is held.
Lent, which begins on ‘Ash Wednesday’, is the long season of self-examination leading to Holy Week and Easter. Through Lent, the emphasis is on a deep truthfulness.
Easter is the heart of the Church’s year, and the week preceding it, which begins with Palm Sunday, is the most focussed and intense of the whole year in terms of seeking to enter into the meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. During the last three days leading up to Easter, the Cathedral community seeks to re-live the story of Christ’s last days on earth.
The three feasts of Ascension (40 days after Easter), Pentecost (50 days after Easter) which leads to Trinity (the Sunday after Pentecost), in their different ways celebrate the belief that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are not just events of the past, but present day realities pointing the way to life, freedom and hope for all humankind now.