Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Two Thousand Children

Over two thousand children, from schools in the Westminster Diocese, came to the Cathedral yesterday for the Advent Carol Service, which is now well established in the annual diary.

The service was led by the Cardinal, and Fr Denis Sarsfield, one of the Cathedral chaplains.

However, as the Cardinal himself acknowledges, he has trouble competing for attention with Larry the donkey - now making his fourth appearance at the annual service.

Larry is processed down the aisle, during an imaginative re-telling of the Chrismtas story, where actors use a series of 'flash-backs' to tell the story of the nativity.

Not a sound can be heard as the story unfolds

Here, the Kings wait anxiously to play their part.

This is a vast operation, but we are helped by the Catholic Children's society, and by the enthusiastic response from the Catholic primary schools of the diocese.

It also helps fulfil our aim that every Catholic schoolchild in the Diocese should come to know and love their Cathedral.

We also draw a large crowd of teachers, parents, and those who have come into the Cathedral by chance.

Carols and songs raise the roof, and the atmosphere is wonderfully joyful. There are more photographs on the diocesan website here.

I was particularly glad that Fr Christopher found a new friend!


Anonymous said...

That's either a very large priest or an extremly small camel.

Anonymous said...

Father Chris.
I would like to have a camel as well, what can i do to have one?

Allan the seminarian of the cathedral

Ttony said...

I love the idea that in your previous post you show how you clean the Cathedral the day before you bring 2,000 children and a donkey into the building!

Anonymous said...

Looking at your post of the recent Christmas concert reminded me of this post of the "Two thousand children". Which reminded me of Blake's poem

Holy Thursday(Songs of Innocence)

'Twas on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,
The children walking two & two, in red & blue & green,
Grey-headed beadles walk'd before, with wands as white as snow,
Till into the high dome of Paul's they like Thames' waters flow.

O what a multitude they seem'd, these flowers of London town!
Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own.
The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs,
Thousands of little boys & girls raising their innocent hands.

Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song,
Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of heaven among.
Beneath them sit the aged men, wise guardians of the poor;
Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.