Christ Church Cathedral has announced its lineup of services and concerts for the holiday season. Advent, a season of preparation before Christmas, began on Sunday, Nov. 27 this year, and the cathedral kicked off the festive season with its Advent Procession, a service of choral music sung by the cathedral’s choir.
The season continues through December with choral concerts in collaboration with the University of Victoria and Early Music Victoria, as well as a chance for anybody to try singing Handel’s “Messiah” accompanied by a professional instrumental ensemble and alongside the cathedral choir. Director of Music, Donald Hunt, says, “This was a new event for us last year and people had so much fun that we couldn’t not repeat it.”
On Sunday, Dec. 18, the cathedral will present a traditional service of lessons and carols for Christmas. A seasonal staple, the festival has been celebrated at Anglican churches and cathedrals for well over 100 years. The highlight this year is a newly commissioned arrangement of the Ukrainian traditional “Carol of the Bells” by Polish-Canadian composer Robert Busiakiewicz.
On Christmas Eve, there will be a family-friendly service at 4:30 p.m. The congregation will hear readings from the Christmas story and sing carols, followed by the traditional choral service at 10 p.m. All are welcome to receive communion at either service. Note that incense will be used at the 10 p.m. service.
The official end of the Christmas season is Epiphany, twelve days after Christmas, when the Magi arrive. In addition to a service on the day, the cathedral will mark this celebration with a special concert by world-renowned tenor Benjamin Butterfield alongside pianists Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata.
“As the Anglican cathedral that serves this city, it’s important that we open our doors wide this season,” says the Reverend Canon Jeannine Friesen, priest in charge of the cathedral. “I can’t wait to welcome back those who have had their holiday traditions interrupted by COVID-19 and to greet new faces who may be curious about what we have to offer to the community. I know many people are expecting a celebration, and that’s what we’ll be giving them!”
Advent to Epiphany at Christ Church Cathedral
For more information about events and links to purchase tickets, please visit the Christ Church Cathedral website.
Saturday, Dec. 3, 3:30 p.m.
UVic Choir Concert
Saturday, Dec. 10, 2–5 p.m.
Messiah from Scratch: A sing-along benefit for our young choral singers
Friday, Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.
EMV Pacific Baroque Series: Festive Cantatas (Bach’s “Magnificat”)
Sunday, Dec. 18, 4 p.m.
Christmas Lessons and Carols
Friday, Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m.
Capriccio Vocal Ensemble presents “Christmas in Versailles”
Saturday, Dec. 24, 4:30 p.m.
Carols around the Crib: A family Eucharist for Christmas Eve
Saturday, Dec. 24, 10 p.m.
Procession and Solemn Eucharist of the Nativity (Christmas Eve)
Sunday, Dec. 25, 10:30 a.m.
Christmas Day: Sung Eucharist
The Cathedral will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26. Daily services resume Tuesday, Dec. 27.
Sunday, Jan. 1
The Naming of Jesus: Service Times
8 a.m. Said Eucharist
10:30 a.m. Cathedral Eucharist
4 p.m. Choral Evensong
Sunday, Jan. 1, 2:45 p.m.
Old Music for the New Year: A Neapolitan Baroque Celebration
Friday, Jan. 6, 7 p.m.
Epiphany: Solemn Eucharist
Saturday, Jan. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Wise Guys: Britten’s “Journey of the Magi”
For more information, contact Donald Hunt, director of music, at [email protected], or Mark McDonald, assistant director of music, at [email protected].