Advent Procession

Advent Procession


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Catalogue Number: HAVPCD379
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Advent Procession In Chichester Cathedral the Church’s year has, for many years, started with an Advent Procession rather than an Advent Carol Service. This liturgical pilgrimage round the cathedral is an outward sign of an inward spiritual journey in which we all are invited to share at different levels.

First, there is a movement from darkness to light. The procession begins in darkness with the Lay Vicars singing the plainsong hymn: ‘Creator of the stars of night’. Then candles are lit and the cathedral is gradually illuminated more and more until Luke’s account of the Annunciation to Mary and the singing of the Magnificat announces the coming light of Christ mirrored in Benjamin Britten’s setting of Hymn to the Virgin: ‘Darkest night, and comes the day Salutis’. It is a reminder that, by the grace of Christ, every Christian is called, in the words of the Advent Collect, to ‘cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light’.

Secondly, the predominant liturgical movement in the Advent Procession is from west to east because from the second century onwards turning east has been associated with looking for the coming Kingdom of God. This central theme is reinforced by using the words of the Advent Antiphons and the prophecies of the Old Testament to move us from eager longing to the realised hope of the coming King. So, at this point in the service, the choir sing anthems based on Old Testament texts or concepts: William Byrd’s ‘Laetentur coeli’, Otto Goldschmidt’s ‘A Tender Shoot’, E.W. Naylor’s ‘Vox Dicentis’ and Thomas Weelkes’ ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’.

Finally, the Procession culminates in a movement from penitence to praise, from judgement to justification. Musically this section begins with the wonderful setting of the Advent Prose by Richard Lloyd – ‘Be not very angry, O Lord, neither remember our iniquity for ever’ – and moves to the peace of the coming Kingdom in Paul Manz’s exquisite setting of words based on the Book of Revelation… Chichester Cathedral Choir is one of the most respected Cathedral choirs in the country, and is particularly noted for its wide-ranging liturgical repertoire, which forms the backbone of the daily offering of worship in the beautiful acoustic of the Cathedral.

The statutes at Chichester provide for eighteen trebles and six lay vicars. The lay vicars are all professional singers and live in or near the Cathedral Close. The choristers are educated at the Prebendal School where they start as ‘Probationers’ in Year 3 or 4 (age 7-9), and usually after one year they become full choristers.

Chorister scholarships range from a minimum of 50% up to 100% of the school fees. As well as their singing, choristers learn the piano and an orchestral instrument, and take part in ensembles and music-making of all kinds in the thriving music department at the Prebendal School. Most choristers win major music scholarships to secondary school.

Track Duration Title Composer
1 02:08 Creator of the stars of night Plainsong
2 00:47 O Sapientia Plainsong
3 06:20 Ad te levavi Patrick Gowers
4 00:48 O Adonaï Plainsong
5 04:02 O thou the central orb Orlando Gibbons
6 01:39 Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland Dietrich Buxtehude
7 03:50 Laetentur coeli William Byrd
8 01:52 Come thou long expected John Stainer
9 00:47 O radix Jesse Plainsong
10 02:07 A tender shoot Otto Goldschmidt
11 01:00 O Clavis David Plainsong
12 01:46 Hosanna to the Son of David Thomas Weelkes
13 01:41 Hark the glad sound Thomas Ravenscroft
14 07:34 Vox dicentis Edward W. Naylor
15 00:42 O Oriens Plainsong
16 03:09 Hymn to the Virgin Benjamin Britten
17 04:17 Magnificat Octavi toni David Bevan
18 04:40 Fuga sopra il Magnificat J. S. Bach
19 00:41 O Rex Gentium Plainsong
20 04:01 Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme J. S. Bach
21 02:21 Hark, a herald voice is calling William H. Monk
22 06:42 Drop down, ye heavens Richard Lloyd
23 00:43 O Emmanuel Plainsong
24 02:32 E’en so Lord Jesus Paul Manz
25 02:13 Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen Johannes Brahms
26 02:33 There is no rose John Joubert
27 00:57 O Virgo Virginum Plainsong
28 03:36 O come, O come Emmanuel arr David Willcocks

Additional Information


Chichester Cathedral


Timothy Ravalde (Organ)




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