Advent, Christmas & Epiphany Services & Events 2015/2016

Advent at S. Bartholomew the Great

The details of our December programme from the beginning of Advent 2015 through to Epiphany 2016 can be found below.
The details of events organized by or on behalf of external organizations are included. The Parish events that we organize ourselves are shown with a coloured background to make it easier to see which is which.

Altogether, the church itself will be putting on nine special services during this season. These are as follows: Advent Carol Service (Sun 29th Nov 2015 at 18:30 – Please note, this will now be on Advent Sunday, NOT Advent II, as in the past); Tomorrow I will come, a sequence of words and music linking Advent to Christmas (Sun 13th Dec 2015 at 18:30); Weekday Nine Lessons & Carols, to which some of our associated Livery Companies are especially invited (Tue 15th Dec 2015 at 18:00); Sunday Nine Lessons & Carols, our main Christmas Carol service (Sun 20th Dec 2015 at 18:30); A Ceremony of Carols, containing Britten's work for upper voices and harp (Mon 21st Dec 2015 at 18:00); Lunchtime Carol Service – a specially shortened service to fit into the working day (Tue 22nd Dec 2015 at 13:00); A Star-Spangled Christmas, a special carol service celebrating the American Christmas tradition, with carols from the Americas and carol tunes as sung in the USA, (Tue 22nd Dec 2015 at 18:00); Stille Nacht, a special carol service with music drawn mainly from the very beautiful German Christmas Carol tradition (Wed 23rd Dec at 18:00); and finally, our Epiphany Carol Service (Sun 3th January 2016 at 18:30). Details of all these services can be found below.

Thu 26th Nov 2015 19:30  Penna Carol Concert 
Sun 29th Nov 2015 Advent Sunday
09:00Holy Communion
10:00Family Eucharist (with hymns) at S. Bartholomew the Less
11:00Solemn Eucharist
18:30Advent Carol Service
Tue 1st Dec 2015 18:00  Bowel Cancer Carol Service 
Wed 3rd Dec 2015 18:00  Standard Chartered Carol Service 
Sun 6th Dec 2015 Advent II
09:00Holy Communion
10:00Family Eucharist (with hymns) at S. Bartholomew the Less
11:00Solemn Eucharist
18:30Choral Evensong & Sermon
Mon 7th Dec 2015 18:00  Action on Hearing Loss Carol Concert 
Tue 8th Dec 2015 11:00  Vestey Carol Service at St Bartholomew the Less
18:30  Mencap Carol Service 
Wed 9th Dec 2015 18:30  Feltmakers Carol Service 
Tue 10th Dec 2015 18:00  Travers Smith Carol Service 
Fri 11th Dec 2015 18:00  Chain of Hope Carol Service 
Sun 13th Dec 2015 Advent III – Gaudete Sunday
09:00Holy Communion
10:00Family Eucharist (with hymns) at S. Bartholomew the Less
11:00Solemn Eucharist
18:30Tomorrow I will come
A special service linking Advent with Christmas, based on the great
O Antiphons used in the seven days leading up to Christmas Eve
With the Priory Church Choir and the Rahere Singers

The Magnificat at Vespers on each of those days has a different Antiphon. Each begins with the word "O" and an attribute of the coming Messiah: Wisdom (Sapientia), Lord of Israel (Adonai), Root of Jesse (Radix Jesse), Key of David (Clavis David), Dayspring (Oriens), King of all Nations (Rex Gentium), God with us (Emmanuel). Beginning with the last one, if you put the first letters of the Latin names together, you get ERO CRAS, the Latin for "Tomorrow I will come": the Advent promise. We have built a service on these seven aspects of Advent, all leading to the well-known hymn that unites the Antiphons in one text: O come, O come, Emmanuel.
Mon 14th Dec 2015 18:00  Addleshaw Godard Carol Concert 
Tue 15th Dec 2015 18:00  Priory Church: A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols 
Wed 16th Dec 2015 17:45  Barts Health Carol Service 
Thu 17th Dec 2015 18:00  Worshipful Company of Information Technologists Carol Service 
Fri 18th Dec 2015 18:00  Saving Faces Christmas Concert 
Sun 20th Dec 2015 Advent IV
09:00Holy Communion
10:00Family Eucharist (with hymns) at S. Bartholomew the Less
11:00Solemn Eucharist
18:30A Service of Nine Lessons & Carols
Mon 21st Dec 2015 18:00  Priory Church Carol Service:
Music: The Ceremony of Carols – Benjamin Britten
Tue 22nd Dec 2015 13:00  Priory Church Lunchtime Carol Service 
A specially shortened carol service designed to fit into a lunchtime in a busy working day
18:00  A Star-Spangled Christmas
A Service of Lessons and Carols from the Christmas tradition in the USA
This is a new carol service at the Priory Church. Numerous Christmas Carols that we regard as part of our English Christmas actually began life in America and only came here later. It came upon the midnight clear, O little town of Bethelehem, We three Kings of Orient are, Away in a manger, Deck the Halls, are all examples of this. In many cases, they are still sung in the USA to the original tunes with which they were equipped when they were first sung. This carol service will include choir carols written in the Americas, and where there is an American tune for a familiar congregational carol, that is the one we will be using. It should be a real star-spangled occasion.
Wed 23rd Dec 2015 18:00  Stille Nacht
A Service of Lessons and Carols with music from Germany
Many aspects of the English Christmas in fact come to us from Germany. Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, introduced the domestic Christmas Tree and Christmas Cards to the United Kingdom, and they spread from there to the United States. But while the UK and the US share a great deal of Christmas music, German Christmas music is largely very different – but very wonderful. This is a service with a difference, a Nine Lessons & Carols with music drawn from the German Christmas tradition. You won't be disappointed!

Christmas Eve, 24th December 2015
12:30 Vigil Mass in the Lady Chapel
The church will be open from 23:00, when there will be trumpet music
23:45 The Midnight Mass of the Nativity
with the Blessing of the Crib, Procession,
Solemn Eucharist & Marian Anthem
with choir and trumpets
Christmas Day, 25th December 2015
09:00 Holy Communion
11:00 Solemn Eucharist with Procession to the Crib
This service is particularly suitable for children
There is no Evensong today

Sun 27th Dec 2015 S. John, Apostle & Evangelist
09:00Holy Communion
11:00Sung Eucharist (in the Lady Chapel) & Procession to the Crib
18:30Choral Evensong & Sermon
Sun 3rd Jan 2015 The Epiphany of the Lord
09:00 Holy Communion
11:00The Ceremony of the Kings and Solemn Eucharist
18:30Epiphany Carol Service
Christmas Tree and the Prior's Tomb

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Christmas Tree and Ramsden Candles

Big Christmas Tree in the South Transept and Ambulatory

Candles with Christmas Tree

Ambulatory with Christmas Tree

One of the Candlestands owned by Tenebrae

Christmas Trees and the High Altar