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Advent Christmas ADVENT & & CHRISTMAS at Malmesbury MALMESBURY ABBEY at Abbey A guide to concerts, services, drama and community events in December 2014


ADVENT CAROL SERVICE by candlelight Sunday 30th November at 6.30pm Music by Bach, Tallis, Lauridsen, Palestrina Admission Free


Jake Drake as Aldhelm/Simeon in The Malmesbury Nativity

Why Nine Lessons? Abbey vicar, Neill Archer, introduces some of the highlights of Advent and Christmas at the Abbey In 1880 the Rt Revd Edward Benson, then the Bishop of Truro, devised a service of carols and readings to begin at 10pm on Christmas Eve; ostensibly to get men out of their local Cornish pubs and into his temporary wooden cathedral. Spoilsport. What is a little better known is that in 1918 the Very Revd Eric MilnerWhite, Dean of King’s College Cambridge, modified this earlier version and produced the imaginative liturgy which we listen to each Christmas on the BBC. The ‘Nine Lessons’

has become not just a national but a global institution, and on the Sunday before Christmas at 6.30pm you are welcome to join us for our candlelit Nine Lessons & Carols at Malmesbury Abbey, bringing to life the grace, the beauty and most significantly the birth at the heart of Christmas. As always, please arrive early for a seat as this and many of our Christmas services are standing room only. Two other ‘Nine Lessons’ make an appearance this year. We are joined


Rob Hinwood as Eilmer/Gabriel in The Malmesbury Nativity

on Dec 5th by the Irish born singersongwriter Gareth Davies-Jones who returns to the Abbey with a fresh acoustic take on the Nine Lessons. A laid-back, intimate evening with a glass of mulled wine and the Abbey CafĂŠ open, as Gareth explores some of our best known Christmas carols with fresh interpretations, the odd new melody, and some of the stories of the original writers. And the Malmesbury School Carol Service on Dec 17th is a beautiful celebration of the birth of Christ led by young people from across North Wiltshire.

The full Abbey Diary for Advent and Christmas is found on the back of this brochure but here are some more highlights to put in your diary and turn up early for: The Advent Carol Service on Nov 30th at 6.30pm begins with the Abbey in total darkness, and gradually the building is candlelit as the light is passed from one person to the next. Ancient readings, transcendent music and a blazing light, symbolising that even in the very real darkness of our world there is hope in Christ.


THE

MALMESBURY NATIVITY December 20th 4pm & 7pm December 23rd 4pm Christmas Eve 4pm & 6pm Adults £2.50 Children free Rosie Archer as Hannah/Mary in The Malmesbury Nativity

The Malmesbury Nativity is simply like no other. Thousands from our community, of all ages, have packed the Abbey over the last two years to see the Christmas story brought to life by Aldhelm, Eilmer, William and Hannah, who are themselves brought to life by young professional actors from Wiltshire. St Matthew & St Luke meet Mumford & Sons. Mulled wine meets mystery. Tickets (Adults £2.50, Children free) available at the Abbey. New this year on Sunday December 21st at 3pm is The Christmas Story for Young Children . This short service is

aimed at families with children under 7. Just like the Nativity, we’d encourage children to come in Christmas costumes. Free tickets available. And finally two very, very special services. Late on Christmas Eve Midnight Communion is actually Christmas itself, the Christ-Mass. Join us from 11.15pm for carol singing and then Holy Communion at Midnight, finishing at 12.30am. And our 11am Family Celebration on Christmas Day is an hour of joy followed by an informal party. Bring a bottle of champagne to share and join the fun.


Malmesbury Abbey by candlelight Sunday 21st December at 6.30pm Including music by Vivaldi, Lauridsen, Rachmaninoff, Biebl & Scriven Admission Free/arrive early


GARETH DAVIES-JONES The Nine Lessons Tour 5th Dec 7.30pm

£5 (Student £3) Café/Bar etc www.garethdavies-jones.com

Enquiries 01666 826666 // Box Office 01666 824339 office@malmesburyabbey.com www.malmesburyabbey.com // issuu.com/malmesburyabbey

The Christmas Story Children For young (Under seven) Sunday 21st Dec at 3pm Get a free ticket!


2 0 1 4 A D VE N T & C HR I S T MA S D I A RY Nov 30th

Advent Sunday, 8am & 10.30am Holy Communion 4pm All-age Communion

Dec 5th

6.30pm Advent Carol Service by Candlelight 7.30pm Acoustic Nine Lessons—Gareth Davies-Jones

Dec 6th Dec 7th

7.30pm Malmesbury Community Choir Concert 8am & 10.30am Holy Communion

Dec 12th Dec 13th

4pm Informal Worship with Junior Church Malmesbury CE Primary School Christmas Service at 10.30am 6-9pm Late Night Shopping—open for mince pies etc Malmesbury Singers Concert at 7.30pm

Dec 14th

8am & 10.30am Holy Communion, 4pm Informal Worship with Junior Church

Dec 17th Dec 20th Dec 21st

Malmesbury School Carol Service at 7.30pm The Malmesbury Nativity (4pm & 7pm) 8am & 10.30am Holy Communion 3pm The Christmas Story for Young Children 6.30pm Service of Nine Lessons & Carols by Candlelight The Malmesbury Nativity (4pm) The Malmesbury Nativity (4pm & 6pm) 11.30pm Midnight Communion (Carols from 11.15pm) 8am BCP Holy Communion 9.30am Holy Communion 11am Family Celebration 12 noon Coffee & Champagne (bring a bottle!)

Dec 23rd Christmas Eve Christmas Day

2014 Advent & Christmas at the Abbey  
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