Clifton College Website

Student Contributions

Chris Weale
Upper Sixth
East Town

The Advent Carol Service

The Advent Carol Service

It is a special sight to see the Chapel illuminated by a series of candles.

It was a frosty Sunday evening in the Clifton area, when a couple of hundred people attended the annual service which, once again, impressed with musical excellence and aesthetic appeal. The Choir entered the Chapel by candlelight, as this provided a poignant precursor to their first series of pieces, including a solo which gave a fantastic atmosphere within the Chapel.

The audience had, in addition, been given a candle themselves on their way into Chapel and after the first hymn had been sung the Praepostors went amongst the congregation lighting each of the candles. By the end of this process, the Chapel had become a sea of orange flames which created a scene which is utterly different to the normal means of lighting the Chapel.

In case anyone had not noticed, the festive season was just around the corner.

The music, which was performed by the Choir, was of its usual high standard, but there was certainly an added dimension on that particular occasion. Perhaps it was the relatively small and intimate congregation which created the atmosphere, or perhaps it was the myriad candles which added the je ne sais quoi. In any case, the Choir were a credit to the school, performing difficult pieces in a way which engaged a diverse audience, and in a way which suited the nature of the service as a whole; a service which is meant to incite the appreciation of Advent.

It was my last ever candle-lit service at Clifton, a fact that makes me feel rather nostalgic. It was one which, as it does for many an OC, will live on in the memory as a quintessentially Cliftonian event. Intimate, cosy and heart-warming, the service continues to provide a beautiful entrance into Advent.

15 December 2011

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