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 Cathedral Carol Service is one of the great occasions of the Cathedral’s year as hundreds of people pack the nave and aisles to hear and sing carols, both familiar and new, which herald the coming of God. This service and the services at midnight on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning remind us again that the coming of God was, extraordinarily, through the life of a vulnerable child. This emphasis on ‘The Incarnation’ lies at the heart of Anglican spirituality and is celebrated every day of the year at the Cathedral’s main daily service of Evensong, when the principal song that is sung is the triumphant hymn of Mary known as ‘The Magnificat’.