Cathedral turns from darkness into light during spectacular service

More than 4,000 people attended the three spectacular Advent Processions, From Darkness to Light at Salisbury Cathedral at the end of November (Friday 25, Saturday 26 and Sunday 27).
Regarded by many as an unmissable prelude to the festive season, each service traditionally begins in total darkness and absolute silence, broken only when the Advent Candle is lit and a solo voice rings out across the ancient space of the Cathedral.
During each service, two colourful processions made up of over 100, including the Bishop of Salisbury, Dean of Salisbury, cathedral canons and 40-strong cathedral choir, make their way around the building with candles lit in their wake.

The Bishop of Salisbury with fellow bishops. Credit: Max Willcock

The Bishop of Salisbury with fellow bishops. Credit: Max Willcock

Worship ends in a blaze of colour and light as the processions come together and make their way from the High Altar to the West End during the final congregational hymn, with the medieval space glowing in the light of 1,300 flickering candles. The Prisoners of Conscience window was illuminated in a gloriously blue at the East End.
The choir for this moving and magnificent service was conducted on all three nights by Salisbury Cathedral’s director of music, David Halls, with a plainsong choir singing from the West End Gallery. John Challenger, assistant director of music, played the organ.

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