Invitation to Candlemas Carol Service at Cathedral
By David Wood
Where: Gloucester Cathedral
When: Sunday, February 3, 6pm
Gloucester Cathedral is inviting everyone to attend a Candlemas Carol Service on Sunday, February 3, at 6pm.
On Christmas Eve there was "no room at the inn" for some as thousands of people flocked to the Cathedral for the 6pm Carol Service, with huge queues stretching into Westgate Street from as early as 4.30pm.
For the first time in history this resulted in the Cathedral being absolutely full to capacity and for the safety of the congregation, hundreds were turned away at the door.
It is with extraordinary compassion and great understanding that Gloucestershire folk took this in their stride with not a single complaint received.
Anyone who was turned away on Christmas Eve is especially invited to come along and celebrate the end of Christmas at this atmospheric and beautiful candlelit service.
The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester said: "Candlemas is the culmination of the Christmas season. We were surprised by the numbers at Christmas - now come and be surprised that the good news goes on!"
Candlemas brings to a close the first part of the Christian year from Advent, through Christmas and Epiphany, celebrating renewal, hope, and purification.
The candlelit service moves from east to west in the Cathedral, taking us from the crib, through the proclamation of the child Jesus in the Temple as the light of the nations, to the focus at the font where we turn towards Lent and Easter.
Candlemas proclaims the glory of Jesus' coming, while also pointing us towards his adult ministry and his journey to the cross. It's an ancient point of transition as the seasons change, celebrated in words and music, candlelight and incense.
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