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NEWS RELEASE
22 November 2011

BUMPER FESTIVE SEASON FOR YORK MINSTER
Advent, Christmas and Epiphany 2011

Christmas is always one of the busiest times of year for York Minster as people flock to the iconic cathedral to join the festive celebrations, and this year the Minster is inviting more people than ever before to share a six week calendar of seasonal tours, activities and services.

2011 is in some ways an unusual year for York Minster. With Christmas Day falling on a Sunday this year, it means that Advent (the four Sundays before Christmas) starts on the 27 November – the earliest possible start date for Advent. With the Minster’s famous Advent Wreath being raised into position on Thursday 24 November, this extends the Minster’s festive celebrations to a full 40 days.

“York Minster in the Christmas season is a magical place. This year there are not only the usual range of carol and other services to enjoy, but a range of activities and exhibitions that should help make the season not only more enjoyable but also more meaningful,” said Dr Jonathan Draper, Canon Theologian. “Here you can take a break from the shopping and enjoy some quiet; here you can see something close up about the Minster’s Advent and Christmas traditions; here you will find a warm welcome and some needed peace. So even if you’ve been in the Minster many times before come in and get a taste of the real meaning of this wonderful season.”

One highlight of the festive welcome will be the launch of a new exhibition in the East End of the Minster, to coincide with York’s St Nicholas Fayre. Christmas Unwrapped guides visitors through many of the traditions that take place throughout the Christmas period, and encouraging exploration of the whole building to discover festive messages in plain sight.

“Even if you have visited the Minster many times, there is still so much to discover, whether you are looking for a peaceful place for quiet reflection, or if you want to set children to create handmade crafts or explore through the Christmas activity trail, or hunting for the kneelers that feature the characters from the 12 Days of Christmas,” adds Dr Draper. “Whatever people want to get out of their visit, we’ll provide a very warm welcome away from the hustle and bustle of the street in York’s most beautiful building.”

Indeed, this year, York Minster is hoping to spread its message far wider with a host of new on-line activities. Due to launch in mid-November, York Minster’s Christmas site will feature family-friendly trail sheets, online booking for children’s activities—Handmade Christmas – and an online shop offering a selection of the most popular Christmas gifts available from the Minster gift shop.

For the first time, people will also be able to hear all of the Minster’s Advent sermons through the website, too, ensuring that York Minster’s message of peace, hope and goodwill can be heard throughout the world, from Acomb to Zimbabwe!

York Minster is open to visitors daily from 9.30am (from 12 noon on Sundays), with last admissions at 5.00pm (3.45pm on Sundays). Admission prices are £9.00 for adults, £8.00 for concessions (seniors and students) and free for children aged 16 or under (accompanied by an adult). Once purchased, the ticket remains valid for a full year.

Tower Tours are prices at £5.50 for adults, £4.50 for concessions and £3.50 for children (aged 8 to 16). The tour is unsuitable for younger children.

For more information, please visit www.yorkminster.org or drop in for a leaflet detailing all of the activities, events and services throughout the festive period.

ENDS

For further media information, please contact:
Jay Commins
Footprint
Tel: 0113 251 5698
Mob: 07810 546567
Email: jay@fim.org.uk


Lisa Sinclair
PR Officer, York Minster
Tel: 0844 939 0014
Email: lisas@yorkminster.org




Full event listings – Christmas 2011

Advent Procession
27 November 2011, 6.30pm
Service: Free
This powerful and evocative service, marking the beginning of the season of Advent explores the theme of the coming of Christ - ‘the light who shines in the darkness’ – through the words of Scripture and the music of Advent hymns and carols.
Advent, then, is a time of hope – for we look forward to the birth of Jesus, the light of the world; and a time of expectation – for we celebrate the life of Christ among us and look forward to the time when our world is transformed by him.


The Cardinall’s Musick
1 December 2011, 7.30pm
Tickets: £25
Celebrating the journey of the Wise Men to the infant Jesus
This programme draws together music from across Renaissance Europe alongside the opulent Missa Ego flos campi by Spanish born composer Padilla who was influenced by spending much of his working life in Mexico. With motets by Victoria and Palestrina, Mass Propers for the Feast of the Epiphany by Byrd and the extraordinary chromatic motet Mirabile mysterium by Jacob Handl, this is a concert which truly celebrates the spirit of Christmas.


Yorkshire Countywomen’s Carol Service
2 December 2011, 2.00pm
Service: Free


Girl Guides Carol Service
3 December 2011, 11.00am
Service: Free


Bach – Christmas Oratorio
3 December 2011, 7.30pm
Tickets: £20, £16, £14, £9
Sung in German by the YMS Chorus and Orchestra.
Featuring one of Bach's most thrillingly festal choruses that conveys both the excitement and the importance of the Christmas message. A setting of texts from the Gospels of St Matthew and St Luke, Bach's Christmas Oratorio is a set of sacred cantatas unified by the narrative of the Christmas story. The work has moments of high drama and of quiet contemplation; the whole is arresting and uplifting.


Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) Carol Service
4 December 2011, 2.00pm
Service: Free


NHS Carol Service
7 December 2011, 7.30pm
Service: Free


York Minster Christmas Carol Concert
9 December 2011, 7.00pm
Tickets: Sold Out
One of the most highly-anticipated and popular concerts of the year, set inside the stunning Minster Nave.
Joined by the Band of Yorkshire Volunteers and guest readers Edward Stourton (BBC Radio 4 presenter) and Wendy Cope (award-winning contemporary poet).


A Ceremony of Carols
10 December 2011, 7.30pm
Tickets: £12
Britten's popular seasonal work for choir and harp, alongside medieval and contemporary Christmas works performed by the Ebor Singers.


Women’s Institute Carol Service
10 December 2011, 2.00pm
Service: Free


St Michael le Belfrey Carol Service
11 December 2011, 7.00pm
Service: Free


Handmade Christmas
17 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: £2
Tree-top angels
Take inspiration from York Minster to create your own unique tree-top angel! Ages 3+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Christmas Tales
17 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
Storytelling for children in the St Nicholas Chapel


A Quest for Christmas! Family Trail
17 December 2011, all day
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
A Christmas adventure to find the true meaning.


A Quest for Christmas! Family Trail
18 December 2011, all day
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
A Christmas adventure to find the true meaning.


Handmade Christmas
18 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: £2
Traditional Christmas Wreathes
Find out more about this ancient Christmas tradition and make your own wreath. Ages 7+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


A Quest for Christmas! Family Trail
19 December 2011, all day
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
A Christmas adventure to find the true meaning.


Handmade Christmas
19 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: £2
Medieval orange pomanders
Join us to create your own medieval-inspired pomander to take home. Ages 5+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Christmas Tales
19 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
Storytelling for children in the St Nicholas Chapel


Handmade Christmas
20 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: £2
Tree-top angels
Take inspiration from York Minster to create your own unique tree-top angel! Ages 3+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Christmas Tales
20 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
Storytelling for children in the St Nicholas Chapel


A Quest for Christmas! Family Trail
20 December 2011, all day
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
A Christmas adventure to find the true meaning.


A Quest for Christmas! Family Trail
21 December 2011, all day
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
A Christmas adventure to find the true meaning.


Handmade Christmas
21 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: £2
Traditional Christmas Wreathes
Find out more about this ancient Christmas tradition and make your own wreath. Ages 7+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Christmas Tales
21 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
Storytelling for children in the St Nicholas Chapel


Service of Nine Lessons and Carols
22 December 2011, 7.00pm
Service: Free
The Minster’s celebration of Christmas begins with this, the first service of Nine Lessons and Carols.
The traditional sequence of nine readings is interspersed with carols from the Minster Choir (including a new commission from David Briggs) and Christmas hymns for the congregation.
A second service of Nine Lessons and Carols is on 24 December at 4pm.



A Quest for Christmas! Family Trail
22 December 2011, all day
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
A Christmas adventure to find the true meaning.


Handmade Christmas
22 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: £2
Medieval orange pomanders
Join us to create your own medieval-inspired pomander to take home. Ages 5+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Christmas Tales
22 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
Storytelling for children in the St Nicholas Chapel


A Quest for Christmas! Family Trail
23 December 2011, all day
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
A Christmas adventure to find the true meaning.


Handmade Christmas
23 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: £2
Tree-top angels
Take inspiration from York Minster to create your own unique tree-top angel! Ages 3+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Christmas Tales
23 December 2011, check website for times
Tickets: Usual admission prices apply - kids go free
Storytelling for children in the St Nicholas Chapel


First Eucharist of Christmas
24 December 2011, 11.30pm
Service: Free
This ‘Midnight Mass’ is a joint celebration for York Minster and the Church of St Michael-le-Belfry and includes music sung by the St William’s Singers and played by the York Young Soloists.


Crib Service
24 December 2011, 12 noon
Service: Free
This popular service for children and families includes the Blessing of the Christmas Crib and the telling of the story of the birth of Jesus.


Service of Nine Lessons and Carols
24 December 2011, 4.00pm
Service: Free
The second of the Minster’s two services of Nine Lessons and Carols.
The traditional sequence of nine readings is interspersed with carols from the Minster Choir (including a new commission from David Briggs) and Christmas hymns for the congregation.
The first service of Nine Lessons and Carols is on 22 December at 7pm.



Christmas Day Sung Eucharist
25 December 2011, 10.00am
Service: Free
A morning celebration of the birth of Christ.


Christmas Day Choral Matins
25 December 2011, 11.45am
Service: Free


Christmas Day Evensong
25 December 2011, 4.00pm
Service: Free
A fitting conclusion to the day’s worship, with a festal Evensong including a performance of Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols by the Minster Choir.


Solemn Eucharist for the Feast of the Epiphany
6 January 2012, 5.15pm
Service: Free
The Christmas season continues with this celebration of the visit of the Wise Men to the child Jesus.


Welcome Yule Concert
21 January 2012
Tickets: £12
Unaccompanied choral music for and between Christmas and Candlemas.


Candlemas Eucharist and Procession
2 February 2012, 5.15pm
Service: Free
Candlemas marks the end of the 40 days of the Christmas season.
This service, beginning at the crib, marks Jesus’ presentation in the Temple as a young boy, and starts to prepare the ground for the Church’s journey towards Lent.


For further media information, please contact:
Jay Commins
Footprint
Tel: 0113 251 5698
Mob: 07810 546567
Email: jay@fim.org.uk

or

Lisa Sinclair
PR Officer, York Minster
Tel: 0844 939 0014
Email: lisas@yorkminster.org

Images and PDF version of this release available from:
http://www.cisionwire.com/york-minster/r/bumper-festive-seas...

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