He came down to earth from Heaven, who is God and Lord of all.
And his shelter was a stable, and his cradle was a stall.
With the poor and mean and lowly, lived on earth our Saviour Holy.

That verse of the very familiar carol Once in Royal David’s City, speaks of God with us in the vulnerability and precariousness of human life. Every year as we identify with the story we can reflect upon how it resonates with the circumstances of our own time.

It is easy to become rather sentimental about the baby in the manger and mother Mary meek and mild. The Christmas story identifies with the struggle and resilience of families caught up in the darkness of daily life under occupying forces, forced to travel, desperate to find shelter and fleeing from murderous threats in pursuit of asylum in a foreign land.

It reminds me of a harrowing story I read this year about a young twelve year old boy who had been sent from his family home in Afghanistan on a perilous journey. His father and uncles had been murdered and the mother used all that she had to pay for him to be trafficked to England rather than see him killed. The journey is a nightmare. It is unsafe, brutal and certainly not something a loving mother would inflict upon their child unless the situation at home for them was too desperate to contemplate. Against all odds, the story is one of triumph and hope recounted in the book: The Lightless Sky by Gulwali Passarlay.

We read in the papers of so many hostile reports about migrants and asylum seekers. We hear of mothers making sacrifices and harrowing decisions. Like the shocking report recently of a mother here in England admitted to hospital with malnutrition having denied herself food in order to feed her children.

Shelter from the cold and a warm safe environment is not just a part of the nativity scene of some 2000 years ago, it is the yearning of millions of people who are hungry, cold and anxious about the future.

The terror and hardship of war torn Ukraine and the tyranny in Iran against women and girls, speak to us of people walking in darkness and longing for light. Their raging against the dying of the light speaks of courageous hope.

It was into just such a world that God came to be among us. Bearing the light of love, proclaiming peace and goodwill towards all people. In Christ, we discover God’s purposes for us all, showing us how to live and bringing hope and transformation. As Christian community we are called to live the incarnation. To be Christ like. May Christ shine in our lives this Christmas and teach us to love. May we recognise him amongst us and bear his light to the world.


Worship and Mission

Weekly service schedule
The service sheet for the coming fortnight can be viewed on the cathedral website (click link to visit)

Services of Lessons and Carols – 23 and 24 December
During the final days before Christmas, the Cathedral will be hosting the traditional services of readings and festive music. The Cathedral Choir will be singing many well-known Carols as well as other seasonal Choral works.
This year, these services will be on 23 and 24 December at 4pm. We recommend arriving a few minutes early to ensure a seat as these services are usually very popular.

Midnight Mass – 24 December 11:30pm
Come and celebrate the night of the birth of Jesus. Our annual Midnight Mass service this year is 24 December at 11:30pm

Festal Eucharist and Festal Evensong – 25 December
At 10am on Christmas Day, we will be having a festive Eucharist to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
And come and join us later at 3:45pm for the Festal Evensong for a serene reflection.

Sacred Space
Sacred Space will be happening at 7pm on the following Sundays in 2023: 22nd January, 19th March, 21st May, 16th July, 10th September and 19th November. If you don’t know, Sacred Space is a gentle, reflective service with time to wonder, the opportunity to use all your senses to explore faith and the chance to experience the unique and serene atmosphere of the Cathedral as the day draws to a close.

Eucharist for the Feast of Epiphany – 6 January
On Friday 6 January at 7:30pm we will be having a sing Eucharist for The Feast of Epiphany with music sung by the Cathedral Consort.

Epiphany Carol Service – 22 January 3:45pm
The Cathedral Choir will be singing for this special Carol Service in celebration of Epiphany.


Choristers and Choir
Congratulations to 10 of our choristers, all of whom have achieved merits or distinctions in their singing exams this term! The 5 boys and 5 girls have been awarded these results with 2 at grade 1, 4 at grade 4, 3 at Grade 5 and 1 at Grade 7!
Particular thanks and congratulations go to Margaret Crossland, their teacher, for this outstanding set of results.

Community Book Group – 21 January
Our January book on Saturday 21st January will meet at 10.30-11.45 in the Learning Centre, off Eastgate (through the wooden door, opposite East Bight). We will be discussing ‘Faith after Doubt’, by Brian D. McLaren (Hodder & Stoughton, 2021). This is available in the cathedral shop.

Stillpoint 2023
The Stillpoint Contemplative Prayer meeting takes place monthly. The next meetings will be on Monday 16th January, 20th February, and 20th March, from 8.40-9.20 a.m., in the Ringers’ Chapel.

Exploring Baptism and Confirmation
At the Easter Vigil there is an opportunity to be baptised (‘christened’) and/or, for mature children and adults to be confirmed. Please contact the Canon Chancellor, Paul, (chancellor@lincolncathedral.com) for an informal discussion between mid-December and mid-January, before faith exploration and preparation begins in February.

12 Tips for a Greener Christmas
A Rocha UK offer “twelve tips for a greener Christmas”, in line with the values that inform the eco-church awards scheme that A Rocha UK pioneered, and which the Church of England and Lincoln Cathedral are working towards. A Rocha UK is a Christian charity working to protect and restore the natural world and committed to equipping Christians and churches in the UK to care for the environment. Please see – https://arocha.org.uk/our-twelve-tips-for-a-greener-christmas/


Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur – 7 January 7pm
Our Organist Jeffery Makinson will be performing the seasonal favourite spectacular by Olivier Messiaen on the Father Willis Organ on Saturday 7 January at 7pm.

Holocaust Memorial Day – 29 January 3pm
There will be a memorial service to mark the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, at St Hugh’s Church, Monk’s Row, Lincoln, on 29th January at 3.00p.m.

Life by LUXMURALIS – 15 to 18 February
Luxmuralis are bringing the light show spectacular, Life, to Lincoln Cathedral. Mesmerising projections and atmospheric ambience will transform the inside of this historic building into a dazzling extravaganza to celebrate the World: its Earth, Sea and Sky, and all that call it home.
To book, go to our website at www.lincolncathedral.com/forthcoming-events

St Barnabas Morriston Orpheus Choir – 4 March 7pm
In support of St Barnabas Hospice, the world-famous Morriston Orpheus Choir will be returning to Lincoln Cathedral.
For more information and to get tickets, go to our Forthcoming Events page on our website.

Bible Readings

Sunday 25 December
Christmas Day

Midnight Mass
Isaiah 52.7-10
Hebrews 1.1-4 [5-12]
John 1.1-14 

Isiah 9.2-7
Titus 2.11-14
Luke 2.1-14

Evening Prayer
Isaiah 65.17-25
Philippians 2.5-11


Sunday 1 January
Second Sunday of Christmas

Numbers 6.22-end
Galatians 4.4-7
Luke 2.15-21

Evening Prayer
Deuteronomy 30. [1-10] 11-end
Acts 3.1-16


Sunday 8 January
First Sunday of Epiphany

Isaiah 42.1-9
Acts 10.34-43
Matthew 3.13-end

Evening Prayer
Joshua 3.1-8, 14-end
Hebrews 1.1-12