Advent procession to move from darkness into light in Kilkenny cathedral

An enchanting combination of choral music and candlelight

Kilkenny People


Kilkenny People



Advent in candlelight

St Canice’s Cathedral’s spectacular Advent Procession ‘From Darkness to Light’ starts off the Christmas season with an enchanting combination of choral music and candlelight.

The Advent procession begins the season of Advent with an evocative service at 5pm on Sunday, December 1, the First Sunday of Advent. Subtitled From Darkness to Light, the service 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 Advent Procession is one of the most atmospheric services of the year. It begins with the Cathedral in total darkness and silence as the single Advent candle is lit. By the end, the medieval interior is seen by the light of hundreds of flickering candles.

The choir is conducted by Bartosz Thiede and accompanied by organist Malcom Proud. The Advent Procession is punctuated by phrases, drawn from scripture, known as the Advent Antiphons. The service takes the form of a Great Procession, moving throughout the building, with the Cathedral choir pausing to sing at several stations.

Music to be sung includes: The truth from above – Ralph Vaughan Williams; O Come O Come Emmanuel - David Willcocks; Puer natus in Bethlehem – Michael Praetorius; The Heaven’s Flock – Eriks Esenvalds; Magnificat in Gregorian Chant; and Remember, O thou man – Thomas Ravenscroft.

There will be well-known Advent hymns for the Congregation to sing, including Come, thou Redeemer of the earth, Lo! He comes with clouds descending and Hills of the north rejoice!