Christmas Week Services at York Minster

With just a fortnight to go to Christmas week, York Minster’s staff and volunteers are preparing to welcome large numbers to the most popular services in the cathedral’s calendar – Nine Lessons and Carols, Midnight Mass and the Christmas Day Eucharist at which the Archbishop of York will preside and preach.

Advent and Christmas at York Minster has been exceptionally busy this year with almost all services at full capacity: an estimated 15,000 people have attended a service at the Minster since the first Sunday in Advent on 2 December.

Patricia Dunlop, Director of Visitor Operations at the Minster advised people wanting to attend the most popular services during Christmas week to ensure that they get to the Minster in good time.

Patricia said: “Services such as Nine Lessons and Carols, Midnight Mass and the main service on Christmas Day are extremely popular and fill up very quickly so we strongly advise that people arrive in good time. Seating is allocated on a first-come-first-served basis so we strongly advise people wishing to be seated together to arrive at the same time. As a matter of fairness to those still waiting to be seated, members of the congregation will not be permitted to reserve seats for those who have not yet arrived in the cathedral.”

Canon Peter Moger, Acting Dean of York added that for many, the services offer an alternative to the overwhelming commercialism of the festive period and an opportunity to experience and connect with the true meaning of Christmas.

He said: Christmas is a very special time at York Minster. We look forward to welcoming people to join us in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.”

Services for Christmas Week at York Minster:

Sunday 23 December
4.00pm – Nine Lessons and Carols
The first of two services consisting of nine special readings, carols sung by the York Minster Choir and hymns for everyone to join in. A traditional Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Nine Lessons and Carols services are very popular so please arrive in plenty of time as seats are available on a first-come-first served basis.

Christmas Eve – Monday 24 December
12noon – Crib Service
A traditional service where families and children are particularly welcome.

4.00pm – Nine Lessons and Carols
The second of two services consisting of nine special readings, carols sung by the York Minster Choir and hymns for everyone to join in. A traditional Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Nine Lessons and Carols services are very popular so please arrive in plenty of time as seats are available on a first-come-first served basis.

11.30pm – First Eucharist of Christmas
Traditional ‘Midnight Mass’ with music from the St William’s Singers and York Young Soloists.

Christmas Day – Tuesday 25 December
8.00am – Holy Communion
10.00am – Sung Eucharist of Christmas Day
The traditional Christmas Day service sung by the York Minster Choir.
Preacher: The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
11:45am – Christmas Day Choral Matins
4:00pm – Christmas Day Choral Evensong (sung by the York Minster Choir).