Our three Cathedrals are primed to welcome thousands of people in the coming weeks, starting with Advent Sunday.
Ripon Cathedral has stunning Advent banners hanging from pillars in the nave which carry verses from scripture that refer to different aspects of Christ’s life and mission.
The last of these bears the words ‘O Emmanuel’ the Hebrew for ‘God With Us’ reminding us of the good news that we are preparing to celebrate.
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson DL said: “Advent is a great season of anticipation and preparation; of looking forward both to our celebrations of the birth of the Prince of Peace and to the day when His reign on earth is universal.
As in churches across the diocese, the morning service in our cathedrals will see the first candle lit on the Advent wreath, marking the counting down of the weeks to Christmas.
The cathedral’s acclaimed choir has been working hard to prepare for a spectacular Advent Procession on Sunday at 5.30pm when carols and candlelight will celebrate the Advent themes of watching and waiting in hope for the world. Everyone is welcome.
Wakefield Cathedral has a full programme running up to Christmas with a host of carol services for different local groups and organisations.
Its acclaimed Cathedral Kitchen also has a new seasonal menu and its family Christingle service on Christmas Eve will feature a competition for the best Christmas jumper!
BBC Radio Leeds will record its annual Carol Concert at Wakefield Cathedral on Thursday, December 12, or broadcast on Christmas Eve.
The Very Revd Simon Cowling, Dean of Wakefield, said: “The Christmas story is a good news story for everyone, and we are looking forward to welcoming people in Wakefield and beyond to celebrate at any (or all!) of our many services and special events”.
Bradford Cathedral has a family fun event even before Advent Sunday, December 1.
Messy Advent takes place from 10.30am on Saturday, November 30 in which children are guided through the meaning of Advent with crafts, song food and wreaths to take away.
It also has all the traditional offerings of carol services, prayer and scripture prior to Christmas.
Dean of Bradford, the Very Revd Jerry Lepine said: “A lot of creative thought and energy goes into making our Cathedral as welcoming as possible for people of all ages, especially at this wonderful time of year.”
Picture of Ripon Cathedral Choir, courtesy of Helen Tabor