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December 24th, 2007 - Hark, the herald angels sing!
Hark, the herald angels sing!



The fourth Sunday of Advent traditionally sees the Christmas Carol service take place in Leeds Cathedral. A festive favorite, people flock to the Cathedral to hear the story of the birth of Christ through words and music. The service follows an adaptation of the 'Nine lessons and Carols' famously heard at Kings College, Cambridge on Christmas Eve each year, and was presided over by the Dean, Michael Cannon McCreadie.


The Cathedral boys', girls' and adult choirs sang, performing both exquisite choral music for the season and leading the congregation in the singing of much loved Christmas carols such as 'See amid the winters snow' 'Away in a manger' and 'Hark the herald angels sing!'

The ambiance of the Cathedral was one of joyful expectation, the service taking place by candlelight. The readings were proclaimed by various members of the choirs, with the Gospel from St John read by Mgr Michael McQuinn, the Vicar General.


The choral music ranged from plainsong 'Hodie Christus natus est' via 16th Century Catalan 'Riu, Riu Chiu' to several 20th Century English compositions and arrangements such as 'A Maiden most gentle' (by local composer, Andrew Carter) 'A Child is born in Bethlehem' (Philip Stopford) and 'Scots' Nativity' by Allan Bullard.

The service concluded with a stunning rendition of the Finale from Louis Vierne's First Organ Symphony, played by Christopher Johns, Choral Director for the Diocese of Leeds.



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