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Advent Procession In Chichester Cathedral the Churchs 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 Lukes account of the Annunciation to Mary and the singing of the Magnificat announces the coming light of Christ mirrored in Benjamin Brittens 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 Byrds Laetentur coeli, Otto Goldschmidts A Tender Shoot, E.W. Naylors 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 Manzs 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.
|1||02:08||Creator of the stars of night||Plainsong|
|3||06:20||Ad te levavi||Patrick Gowers|
|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|
|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|
|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|