How many candles does it take to light up York Minster?

Around 2,000 – and that’s how many will illuminate the magnificent Nave on Sunday (December 3) when the cathedral holds its much-loved Advent Procession.

Advent procession

York Minster

Sun Dec 3 @ 5.15pm

More details

The service marks the start of the Advent season at the Minster, and is the first in a series of special services taking place during December.

The cathedral starts in darkness before a single flame is used to spread light throughout the congregation, with each person holding a candle and passing the flame to their neighbour, as York Minster’s clergy and choir process down the Nave from the Great West Doors.

“The Advent Procession is one of the most popular and visually stunning services in the Christian calendar,” said the Reverend Canon Peter Moger, Precentor at York Minster.

Other Minster Christmas highlights

The advent wreath in York Minster. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Friday 8 December: Sankta Lucia – Festival of Light
A candlelit procession and carol service for all the family based on the traditional Swedish Lucia celebration.

Monday 18 December: Organ Recital – La Nativité du Seigneur
Messiaen’s reflective masterpiece for Advent and Christmas performed in the stunning Quire by York Minster’s Director of Music Robert Sharpe. With readings and prayers.

Friday 22 December: 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.

Sunday December 24: Christmas Eve services
Including the Crib Service and Nine Lessons and Carols.

Monday December 25: Christmas Day services
Including Holy Communion (8am), Sung Eucharist of Christmas Day (10am) and Christmas Day Choral Matins (11.45am).

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