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Being Johnian - Annual Highlights for the Whole of College

College is not like school, nobody will make you come to anything.  It’s entirely your choice but some things are pretty much unmissable at least once in your time here and are part and parcel of being Johnian.

Matriculation Service, Tuesday of Freshers’ Week

Your formal welcome to the College.  Held on the Tuesday of Freshers’ Week, immediately after the Matriculation Photograph and before drinks with tutors and the big Matriculation Dinner.  Come along in your gown as the Chapel is filled to bursting and prepare to be impressed at the massed voices of the College Choir.  There’s a special welcome from the College President and readings from the JCR and SBR Presidents.

Advent Carol Service, Last Weekend of Michaelmas Full Term

The biggest services in the year by far, held on the Saturday and Sunday of the last weekend of term, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and followed by Advent Hall.  Hundreds have to be turned away but current students get priority and can book up to three free tickets online during October. To book your tickets please follow this link (closing date 5 November)

Epiphany Carol Service, 6pm First Weekend of Lent Full Term

The most atmospheric services of the year, lit only by candlelight and beginning in darkness as the Dean reads the beginning of St John’s Gospel from the huge brass eagle at the back of Chapel.  Joyful music and readings from the birth and infancy of Jesus.  Usually 6pm on the first Saturday and Sunday of Lent term.  The Saturday night is particularly popular with Graduate students as it is usually followed by a special Graduate dinner.

Meditation on the Passion of Christ, 6pm Last Sunday of Lent Term

A more sombre and meditative service held at 6pm on the last Sunday of Lent term.  Music, poetry and a sung version of the crucifixion reflect on the last days of Jesus’ life and the significance of his death.

Bach Cantata Evensongs

The Choir collaborates with members of the internationally-renowned baroque ensemble, the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, who play period instruments.  Typically Bach Cantatas are heard today only as high-profile concert pieces but these termly services restore them to their original setting of worship.  Massively popular across Cambridge so arrive early and allow extra time.

Graduation Service, 10:10am Graduation Day

Just as a Chapel service opens your time at John’s, so it will close it as this special service commemorates all your achievements.  Held on Graduation Day after the photograph and before the procession to Senate House and open to all those who come to support you at graduation.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Look out for the Remembrance Day service, All Souls’ Day, orchestral masses, Ash Wednesday, radio broadcasts, Radio 4 Sunday Worship and Ascension Day Carols from the top of the tower.