- College Life
Every year on Ascension Day, the Choir ascends the 163ft Chapel Tower and sings the Ascension Day Carol.
This custom dates from 1902 and was begun by the then Director of Music, Cyril Rootham, following a conversation with Sir Joseph Larmor. Sir Jospeh was insistent that a choir singing from the tower would not be heard from the ground. Rootham was keen to prove him wrong and saw Ascension Day as the perfect time to do it.
Without telling anyone in College, the Choir ascended the tower and as the clock finished striking noon, they started to sing an Ascension Day Carol. To Rootham's delight, he saw Sir Joseph open his window in the court below to see where the music was coming from. The event proved popular and since then it has been repeated every year.
The Advent Carol Services will next be held on Saturday 25 November 2017 at 6.00pm and Sunday 26 November 2017 at 3.00pm. The Sunday service is to be recorded for broadcast by BBC Radio 3.
The pattern of the 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 ticket only.
Application for Tickets to this Service will open in early October 2017.
Tickets for these services are free, however priority will be given to members of the College.
We very much regret that, following a recent audit of seating capacity in Chapel, we are unable to accept ticket applications from members of the public. Should you wish to queue outside the Chapel on Saturday or Sunday, we will endeavour to seat as many people as possible in seats which are unclaimed by ticket holders 20 minutes before the commencement of the respective service. Please note that seats are not guaranteed and queuing is entirely at your own risk.
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.
To listen again to this year's Advent Carol Service please click here via the BBC iPlayer.
The service sheet for last year can be found below.
The next Epiphany Carol Services will be held on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January 2018 at 6.00pm.
This Candlelit Service of readings and music celebrate the season of Epiphany.
Music last year will included Laetentur coeli (Byrd), The Three Kings (Cornelius), Quem vidistis (Dering), When to the temple Mary went (Eccard), A Gallery Carol (Gardner), O magnum mysterium (Poulenc), Nunc dimittis (Rachmaninoff), Videte miraculum (Tallis) and Ding dong! merrily on high (arr. Wilberg). The readings and hymns tell the narrative of the coming of Christ, the Magi’s visit, and the presentation in the Temple.
Application for tickets will open in November 2017
Please note that this service is unsuitable for babies and toddlers.