Christmas at the Cathedral

The Very Reverend Richard Pengelley | Dean | St George’s Cathedral
The Very Reverend Richard Pengelley | Dean | St George’s Cathedral

St George's Cathedral at Christmas

One cannot talk about Christmas without first mentioning Advent. At St George’s Cathedral this is one of the great, reflective seasons of the year with a highlight being our Advent ‘From Darkness to Light’ Carol service on 2 December. With great solemnity we hear again the prophecies of hope from the Jewish scriptures, the preparation of ‘the Way’ from the Christian scriptures, and sing some of the most beautiful hymns ever composed. The choir anthems build on these themes and draw our hearts and minds heavenward.

Our Christmas season includes three Carol services on 16, 23 and 24 December, a children’s service on 16 December, Midnight Mass, Christmas Day services and the first Sunday after Christmas before we move into our Epiphany carols and celebrations on 6 January. Once again this year the Christmas lights will be projected onto the Cathedral from 16 November to Christmas Eve, an event which draws thousands of people to our iconic venue. This year, for the first time, the St George’s Cathedral Consort will pause and sing a carol to the gathered throng after each carol service. As it does every year, the St George’s Cathedral Foundation for the Arts has commissioned a new carol called ‘A Christmas List’ by the well-known Australian composer, Andrew Ford.

Like every Anglican parish, school and agency in this Diocese, we offer these timeless events and stories in love. Rowan Williams the theologian and former Archbishop of Canterbury once wrote; ‘At Advent and Christmas it ought to shock us to be told that the universe lives by the kind of love that we see in the helpless child and the dying man on the cross. We have been shown the engine room of the universe, the fire in the equations; and it ought to worry us, we who are obsessed about being safe, successful, and in control, and who cannot believe that power could show itself in utter humility. But these festivals tells us what Good Friday and Easter tell us: that God fulfils what he wants to do by emptying himself of his own life, giving away all that he is in love.’

On behalf of the St George’s Cathedral community I wish you all a safe, meaningful and blessed Advent and Christmas in the name of the helpless child and the dying man on the cross, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Article published in December 2018/January 2019 Messenger magazine