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Advent Carol Service I

Sat, 29/11/2014 - 18:00 - 19:30


St John's College holds two Advent Carol Services. Saturday 29 November 2014 at 18:00 and again on Sunday 30 November 2014 at 15:00 (the Sunday Service is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3)


The season of Advent is traditionally a time of preparation for Christmas, and its observance dates from the sixth century in Gaul. Originally, it stretched from St Martin’s Day (11th November) to Christmas Eve, and was known as ‘The Lent of St Martin’. This title suggests the parallel between Advent and the Lenten fast. Meditations on the themes of judgement and our ultimate destiny were developed for each of the four Sundays of Advent.

The ancient people of God, the Jews, looked forward to the coming of God’s Kingdom when there would be a new order of justice and righteousness. The early Church saw that the Kingdom had been anticipated and experienced through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, but still prayed ‘Thy Kingdom come’, looking forward to a second coming and the final consummation of all things.

The pattern of this Advent service (in its four sections) reflects the season’s growing anticipation, both of the first coming of Christ and of that Day when the prayer ‘Thy Kingdom come’ is finally and fully answered.


Entrance to this Service is by free ticket only.

Application for Tickets to this Service have now closed.


Please note:

The number of applications for tickets this year has far exceeded the number we are permitted to issue.  Unless you are a ticket holder, we strongly recommend that you do not plan to travel to College for the service, as it is extremely unlikely there will be any seats available on the day.  

Please note that these services are not suitable for toddlers or babies.

If you have any quries about this, or any service, please email the Chapel Clerk or phone on (01223) 338676.


The Service sheet for the this year can be found below. 



Carol: Adam lay ybounden (Ord)
Processional Hymn:  O come, O come, Emmanuel!  (Veni Emmanuel) (descant: Hill)
Bidding Prayer    
Carol: There is no rose (Maconchy)  

I The Message of Advent

Sentence and Collect
Antiphons:  O Sapientia and O Adonai
First lesson:  Isaiah 11 vv.1-5
Carol: The truth from above (Vaughan Williams)
Second lesson: 1 Thessalonians 5 vv.1-11
Anthem: Vigilate (Long)

II The Word of God

Sentence and Collect
Antiphons:  O Radix Jesse and O Clavis David
Third lesson:  Micah 4 vv.1-4
Anthem: O Thou, the central Orb ( Gibbons)
Fourth lesson:  Luke 4 vv.14-21
Hymn:  Come, thou long-expected Jesus (Cross of Jesus) (descant: Robinson)

III The Prophetic Call

Sentence and Collect
Antiphons:  O Oriens and O Rex Gentium
Carol:  Tomorrow shall be my dancing day (Willcocks)
Fifth lesson:  Malachi 3 vv.1-7
Carol: John the Baptist (Michael Finnissy) **
Sixth lesson:  Matthew 3 vv.1-11
Hymn: On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry (Winchester New) (descant: Robinson)

IV The Christ-Bearer

Sentence and Collect
Antiphon:  O Emmanuel
Motet: Ave Maria (Mendelssohn)
Seventh lesson: Luke 1 vv.39-49
Carol: A spotless rose (Ledger)
Magnificat: St John’s Service (Tippett)
Eighth lesson:  John 3 vv.1-8
Sentence and Christmas Collect
Carol: Glory to the Christ Child (Bullard)
Hymn: Lo! he comes with clouds descending (Helmsley) (descant:  Robinson)
College Prayer and Blessing
Organ Voluntary:  Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (J.S. Bach)
** First performance of work commissioned by the Master and Fellows of St John’s College, Cambridge.
Director of Music:  Andrew Nethsingha
Herbert Howells Organ Student: Edward Picton-Turbervill



Closing deadline for Applications for Advent Carol Service
Mon, 03/11/2014 - 16:00