Light in the Darkness – Advent Processions in St Patrick’s and Christ Church
The First Sunday in Advent was celebrated in both St Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral yesterday (Sunday December 3) with beautiful services marking the start of the liturgical year and the beginning of the time of anticipation and waiting as we look towards Christmas Day.
In St Patrick’s Cathedral, A Sequence of Music and Readings for Advent was sung by the Cathedral Choir (Schola and Men’s Voices) with readings by Bryan Dobson. This Advent Procession is one of the year’s most dramatic services in the cathedral, moving as it does from darkness to light. The words and music focused on the Advent theme of light in darkness, hope in despair and a new relationship with God in Christ.
In Christ Church Cathedral the Advent Procession took place entirely in candle light. Sung by the Cathedral Choir the service highlighted the unique position of the First Sunday of Advent, precisely at the turning point of the liturgical year which turns a spotlight on the paradox that is characteristic of the Christian faith. The service sheet put it further: “Perhaps the greatest paradox of Advent is the tension between the joyous anticipation of the birth of Jesus and the inevitability of the cross… So that at the beginning of things, we think about the end of things”.