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Darkness to Light

by ajack last modified 01 Dec, 2021 04:08 PM

'Spectacular’, ‘special’, and ‘unmissable’, just three words used to describe the three sell-out, Advent Processions, ‘From Darkness to Light’ at Salisbury Cathedral last weekend.

From Darkness to Light is the annual Advent procession held at Salisbury Cathedral, to mark the start of the festive season, the start of the Christian year and the countdown to the nativity.

The service, attended by over 2,500 people, began in total darkness and silence, broken only by the lighting of the single Advent Candle and a solo voice ringing out across the ancient space.

As the choir sang, the two large and colourful processions made up of over ninety people, made their way around the ancient building until the medieval building was lit by 1,300 flickering candles and the Prisoners of Conscience window was illuminated blue. The processions included:

  • The Acting Bishop of Salisbury, 
  • Dean of Salisbury, 
  • Cathedral Canons, 
  • A forty-strong Cathedral Choir.

The Choir was conducted by Salisbury Cathedral’s Director of Music, David Halls, and a plainsong choir sang from the West End Gallery. John Challenger, Assistant Director of Music played the organ. The service can simply be described as moving and magnificent.  

The festivities weren’t restricted to the cathedral, with the community surrounding it also getting involved, with neighbouring houses and trees covered in fairy lights.

As part of the service, there are four art installations illuminating both The Close and cathedral, also entitled From Darkness to Light.

The artworks include a walk-through experience, a neon sign and sculptures, provided by various artists including Squidsoup and composer and artist, Richard McLester.

Speaking about the service, a spokesperson said:

“Light engages people and lifts them, especially in these darker months."

When asked how the installations would benefit the city as a whole, they continued:

"I want everyone to be able to engage with it, beyond the wall, it needs to speak to everybody and actually turn the darkness of this year into light.”

The installations will be on display until February 2022, for more information visit the Salisbury Cathedral website.

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