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Advent & Christmas 2019

A Message from The Dean

There is a very warm invitation to join us at worship in the Cathedral during the Christmas season. People sometimes ask me, "Do we need tickets for Cathedral services?" The answer is, "No - just come along." The earlier you can get here, the better the choice of seat; but we have never had to turn people away. I hope you can find a date when you can be with us to enjoy the wonderful words and music of Christmas in our beautiful building.

The other question I am getting asked at the moment is, "When will the Fratry be open again?" The answer: "Very soon now." It will be a unique venue for exciting teaching and learning events, exhibitions and performance - with a stunning new Cathedral Café at the heart of the precinct. Look out for details in the New Year, and remember... hard hats are NOT required to attend services this Christmas!

Have a very happy and blessed Christmas.

Mark Boyling, Dean of Carlisle

Below you will find all of our special Advent and Christmas carol services and events, but don't forget, the Cathedral is open every day. All welcome. You can view the full calendar of services and event HERE.

Advent and Christmas at Carlisle Cathedral

Organ Music for Advent

Fridays 6, 13 and 20 December at 12.30pm

Assistant Organist Edward Taylor plays specially selected music for advent at the 12.30pm service every Friday. free entry, all welcome.

University Christmas Celebration

Monday 9 December at 7pm

A free festive evening with students and staff from the University of Cumbria including exclusive performances from students from the university’s Institute of the Arts.

Choirs Christmas Concert

Friday 13 December at 7.30pm
Tickets £10 (under-18s: free). BOOK TICKETS ONLINE.

The annual Christmas Concert is a highlight of the Cathedral's calendar, as the combined Cathedral Choirs sing classic carols and Christmas songs.

Trinity School Carols

Monday 16 December at 7.15pm

The annual carol service with pupils from Trinity School. All families, friends and former pupils are welcome to attend - click here for details.

Hurry to Bethlehem: Carols for All

Sunday 22 December at 3pm

This 50 minute service includes some of the most popular carols ever written, for us all to sing and enjoy. If you have never visited us before this is a perfect introduction to Christmas at the Cathedral.

Festival of Carols and Readings

Monday 23 December at 6.30pm

The Cathedral Choir makes a special contribution to this service which is full of the beautiful words and music of the Christmas season, including carols classic and contemporary.

Crib Service

Christmas Eve at 3pm

The ever-popular Christmas Eve Crib service delights young and old and features the Cathedral's Cantate Children's Choir.

Festival of Carols and Readings

Christmas Eve at 6.30pm

Start your Christmas Eve with us as the Cathedral Choir return for a special service of readings and beautiful choral singing. The carols include John Tavener's The Lamb, and perennial favourite In The Bleak Midwinter.

Midnight Eucharist

Christmas Eve at 11.30pm

Celebrate the birth of Christ through music, prayer and Holy Communion as Christmas Eve becomes Christmas Day. This is a most joyful celebration of the Eucharist and all are welcome to attend. Sung by the Cathedral Consort.

Christmas Morning Eucharist

Christmas Day at 10.30am

Join us on Christmas Day itself to greet Christ, the new born King. The full Cathedral Choir sings music by Mozart and one of John Rutter's beautiful carols, Mary's Lullaby. The Bishop of Carlisle presides.

Carols for Epiphany

Sunday 5 January at 3pm

On Epiphany we recall the visit of the wise men to the Christ Child and we celebrate in a choral service offering through prayer our own gifts and talents in the service of God. Carols are sung by the Cathedral Consort.


Tuesday 14 January at 7.30pm

Christingle is a candlelit festive celebration that's perfect for bringing families and communities together. An atmospheric and joyful occasion it is often remembered for the decorated oranges which represent parts of the story of Christ.