Christmas is one of the great feasts of the Christian year and a very special time of the year for us all. There is a welcome at Llandaff Cathedral for everyone as we celebrate the birth of Jesus in readings, carols and music. The message of love and peace is one the world needs to hear more than ever. The Christmas story reminds us of how God came to us, as one of us and reaches out to us whoever we are, whatever we do. The image of the vulnerable baby in Bethlehem reminds us that God understands what it is to be homeless, hungry, poor and a refugee. Do join us to explore the meaning of Christmas this year in Llandaff.
Christmas Crib Festival
22nd – 29th November
Get into the mood for Christmas by visiting Llandaff Cathedral’s ‘Crib Festival’ where you can see on display a huge range of nativity scenes from countries around the world! From matchbox size to life-size, simple to sophisticated, the crib scenes will awaken your imagination about the holy family and the birth of Jesus.
Tuesday 28th November | 4.00 – 8.00pm
Start the festive season at Llandaff Cathedral’s Winter Craft fayre. With free entry, all are welcome inside the Cathedral on a winters evening at the end of November to listen to the voices of the Cathedral Choir whilst browsing over 30 craft stalls selling locally handmade items. Why not indulge in a mulled wine and seasonal baked good from our pop up café during the Fayre.
A Sequence of Readings, Music and Prayers for Advent
Sunday 3rd December | 5.30pm
Candles are gradually lit to illuminate the Cathedral, as we embrace the hope of Advent. Featuring beautiful music sung by the Cathedral Choir and traditional readings from scripture, this is a dramatic and beautiful service that centres around bringing light to the darkness, but the service also captures an idea that is central to our keeping of Advent: the recognition that the beautiful world in which we live is marred by our human wilfulness, greed and violence.
The light that shines in the darkness of the Church represents the light of Jesus Christ shining in our dark world. That light dispels the darkness, but not without showing up the dark places of our world, and of our lives. The light of Christ sees us as we are; it judges all, but it is also the illumination and the warmth, the guiding light, which leads us from darkness into light.
Please be seated by 5.15pm.
John Rutter’s Dancing Day
Sunday 10th December | 4.00pm
The Girl Choristers of the Cathedral Choir perform John Rutter’s musical sequence Dancing Day, accompanied on the Harp by Kathryn Rees.
Written in 1974, John Rutter’s Dancing Day celebrates Christmas through a tapestry of familiar carols and old texts dating back as far as the 14th century. Although Rutter is known for his ability to write a brilliant tune, none of the Carols here are actually have melodies by him but are re-workings of several medieval dance tunes with religious texts that have one foot in the church door, and, with their dance melodies, one in the village square. Three of the songs simply glorify the Virgin herself, one song tells the story of the birth, one mourns the loss of young children born around the time of Jesus’ birth, and one includes echoes of the future told through the voice of Jesus Himself. This amalgam of secular experience and religious story retell the central event of Christmas with vivid imagery and affecting simplicity. Through them all runs the sense of wonder and danceable joy.
Calling to mind Benjamin Britten’s timeless Ceremony of Carols, the cycle is composed for upper voices with Harp accompaniment. The harpist does have their own moments in the spotlight through a solo Prelude and Interlude which ably set the scene for the words which come after them.
This event is free to attend and will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel.
Sunday 17th December | 4.00pm
Children from the Cathedral Sunday School present the story of Christ’s birth through our annual Nativity drama and a host of everyone’s favourite carols!
Christmas with the Cathedral Choir
Wednesday 20th December | 7.00pm
Join the Cathedral Choir for their Annual Christmas Concert hosted by actress and author Ruth Jones. As the choir sings some of their favourite Christmas music, there will be opportunity for you to sing yours.
This concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio Wales at a later date.
A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols
Friday 22nd & Sunday 24th December | 4.00pm
Conceived in a make-shift church in Truro, and made famous by King’s College, Cambridge, the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols has beeb a Christmas tradition for choirs for over a century. Join us as we explore the Christmas story through readings and music, from the creaton of the world to the birth of the Messiah.
Admission to these services is by reserved ticket only. Reserve your free ticket below.
Please be seated by 3.45pm
Organ Recital – Olivier Messiaen’s La Nativité
Saturday 23rd December | 5.30pm
Explore the themes of Christmas through a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s seminal organ cycle, La Nativité du Seigneur.
Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur (The Birth of the Saviour) is arguably one of the most important organ works of the twentieth century. Its devotional nature is remarkably direct, for Messiaen possessed a deep-rooted faith and theological insight which gave a strongly spiritual dimension to all his work.
This work probes deeply into meaning of God-made-man, setting the events of the first Christmas in the contexts both of time and of eternity, the Incarnation, the Ascension, the Holy Trinity, the Saints in glory and the Holy Sacrament. In a series of musical tableaux, the Virgin and Child, the shepherds, the angels, and the Wise Men are depicted. Overall, it was Messiaen’s desire to convey here an unbridled joy at the presence of God in His Son. The music’s constant movement and virtuosity, its rhythmic drive and variety convey this sense of elation.
Performed by Stephen Moore, Director of Music.
The First Eucharist of Christmas
Sunday 24th December | 11.30pm
Greet the new-born King as we celebrate together the First Eucharist of the Nativity.
Missa Brevis – John Rutter
Nativity Carol – Rutter
Sussex Carol – arr. Philip Ledger
Final from Symphonie I – Louis Vierne
This service will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Wales.
Please be seated in the Cathedral by 11.15pm.
Monday 25 December
‘Unto us a boy is born; King of all creation’.
Join us in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ in one of our Christmas Day services.