York Minster Christmas Wreath Raised
5:21pm 29th November 2013
Children from the Pre-Prep department of the Minster School today took part in the annual tradition of raising the Advent Wreath beneath the central tower of the medieval cathedral.
The three-metre wide Advent Wreath – thought to be one of the largest suspended wreaths in the country – was ‘willed’ into position by the children, carefully watched by Precentor Canon Peter Moger and Head Verger, Alex Carberry.
The decoration of York Minster’s Advent Wreath was created by the large team of volunteer flower arrangers at York Minster, under the supervision of Head Flower Arranger, Beryl Plimmer. Several sacks full of green foliage and dozens of blocks of oasis are used to decorate the wreath, with the greenery collected from local gardens, farms and even Deans Park to create a stunning ring of green that will hang in the Minster for almost six weeks.
Children from the Minster School installed the five candles, each of which is over a metre high, into the dedicated candle holders which feature huge dishes to catch any falling wax. Each candle can burn continuously for up to three weeks, so the candles lit during the first two Sundays of Advent will be replaced as they burn down in the run-up to Christmas.
“Advent – which marks the beginning of the Christian Year - is such an important season in the Church’s calendar; it is wonderful to involve young children from the Minster School so that they can understand that Advent is more than about receiving a chocolate from their Advent Calendar,” comments the Reverend Canon Peter Moger, Precentor at York Minster. “Although the Advent Wreath is installed on 29 November, the first candle won’t be lit until Advent Sunday – this year on 1 December – and the final candle on Christmas Day as we celebrate the birth of Christ, bringing the light of Christ into the world.”
Many visitors will first see the Advent Wreath during the Advent Procession which takes place on Sunday 1 December at this year’s earlier time of 5.15pm. The Advent Procession is one of the most popular services in York Minster’s calendar; a visually stunning service which begins with the cathedral in darkness, and the lighting of a single candle. During the course of the service, every member of the clergy, choir and congregation lights a candle, and the whole building is gradually bathed in candlelight as the Church begins another year.
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