YORK Minster is preparing to mark Advent and Christmas with a series of services and family-friendly events throughout December.

From moments of quiet reflection to the cathedral’s most popular events and services of the year, special services, festive events, seasonal traditions and music will celebrate the festive season.

Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost, Dean of York, said: “Advent and Christmas lies at the very heart of the Christian faith as it marks the start of the Christian year and the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“It is a time of anticipation and preparation and for reflection. Everyone is invited to come and experience York Minster at this very special time of year, a warm welcome is guaranteed.”

The Advent celebrations began at the Minster on December 1, with the Advent procession, involving a candlelit service.

But they continue this Friday, December 6 with the ‘Sankta Lucia: Festival of Light’, which is a traditional candlelit Swedish service.

Then, on Saturday, December 7, the York Minster Choir will perform Handel’s celebrated oratorio.

Thursday, December 12 and Friday, December 13 will see the performance of York Minster Choir’s Christmas carol concerts.

There will be numerous services in the week leading up to Christmas, on Sunday, December 22 and Tuesday, December 24. Included in these services will be the ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ - featuring nine special readings, carols sung by the choir and hymns for everyone to join in.

Christmas Eve will see three services. The first at 12pm involves a crib service, followed at 4pm by a service featuring a second ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ and at 11.30pm a traditional ‘Midnight Mass’.

Christmas Day will see a holy communion first thing at 8am, followed by the traditional Christmas Day service at 10am.

The Christmas activities include an embroidery workshop that will be held on December 14, from 10am-1pm. The workshop is now sold out.

Running from December 14 to January 5 is the ‘What does Christmas mean to you?’ programme, allowing members of the church to add their Christmas reflections to the church’s Christmas trees.

Also running between these dates is the family Christmas activity trail, where families can discover more about the Christmas story by exploring the activity stops hidden around the Minster.

For further information, visit York Minster’s website at: https://yorkminster.org/.