Church Notices

Winchester Cathedral Advent Procession

On Saturday 2nd December Father John, together with a group from our Benefice, travelled to Winchester Cathedral to join other worshipers for the Advent Procession which begins the annual celebration of the good news of the coming of Jesus Christ.
The Cathedral was full and the service started in darkness, mirroring the journey from the darkness of sorrow and death into the light of Christ’s dawning Kingdom of justice and joy.
The choir began the service with the Advent Prose followed by the Bidding Prayer by the Dean:
as we enter eager and expectant, into this solemn season of Advent, looking forward to the birth of the Christ child, let us renew in ourselves that vision of God’s perfect kingdom which is the end of all our strivings and the consummation of God’s loving purposes for us………………………
The service continued with the seven Advent Antiphons sung by the Lay Clerks and Choristers, interspersed with readings, prayers and well known congregational hymns. Candles were lit progressively until the building was bathed in flickering candle light.
Towards the end of the service the Choir sang the words from Luke’s Gospel :
How shall this be, seeing I know not a man ?
Hail, thou that art highly favoured,
The Lord is with thee:
Blessed art though among women….’
To the haunting and wonderful music of John Taverner
As the service progressed towards its end we heard the words of Revelation ‘Christ will come once again in Glory’ read by the Bishop of Basingstoke…. The Collect for Advent was read by the Dean and as the Cathedral lights came on  all the candles were extinguished. The service finished with the glorious  Advent hymn by Charles Wesley  Lo, he comes with cloud descending’.
What a wonderful way to start the Advent season….. 
This was a really uniquely different and very moving way to lead us into Advent and the Christmas Festival.
Our coach took us and brought us back to Beaulieu in warmth and comfort…. and there were lots of spare seats ! Don’t miss the chance to enjoy this wonderful experience in 2018.

John Hughes