The countdown to Christmas begins this weekend when Lincoln Cathedral’s bumper programme of festive services, concerts, events and family activities starts with the traditional Advent procession.

The Advent Procession takes place on Saturday 2 December at 6pm and marks the beginning of the season of Advent and the countdown to Christmas. As the candlelit service of music and readings takes you on a journey around the Cathedral, it is an opportunity to reflect on God’s promise to us that Christ will come into the world.

December will be a month of much joyous music, beginning on Tuesday 5 with Christmas by Candlelight, a concert of classic Christmas hits performed by a West End cast in the atmospheric surroundings of the candlelit Nave. This is followed on Wednesday 6 with Bublé Big Band Christmas featuring a live big band and the UK’s number one Michael Bublé tribute act.

Winter wonderland weekend

There is a packed weekend of activities guaranteed to fire up the festive feeling between Friday 8 December and Sunday 10 December.

On Friday and Saturday, a crafters’ market will take place in the Chapter House and Cloisters with a carefully-curated choice of local crafters and artists ready to share their traditional and contemporary skills with you. Find something special as a festive gift or treat yourself!

On the Friday evening the music continues with a concert performance of Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols performed by the Voices of Lincoln Cathedral.

Admission to the Cathedral will be half price on Saturday 9 December, meaning adults can visit for just £5.50, and as always, children aged 16 and under can visit for free with a paying adult. Throughout the day there’ll be live music in the Nave including performances by Lincoln Vocal Academy. There’ll also be family fun with Christmas crafts and storytelling in our Learning Centre. In the evening London Concertante will be performing Christmas at the Movies, a concert filled with songs from your festive favourites.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Cathedral will be taking part in the Lincoln Ice Trail. As well as hosting two of the sculptures as part of the trail around the city, at 12noon and 3pm on both days, there will be exciting live demonstrations of ice carving, giving you an insight into how these chilly creations are made! There’ll also be a carousel on the Dean’s Green adding to the festive atmosphere.

The weekend draws to a close with the Cathedral’s monthly ‘After Hours’ service at 7pm; a gentle and reflective space with time to wonder, and the chance to experience the unique and serene atmosphere of the Cathedral as the day draws to a close. The theme for December is ‘Walking towards Christmas’ and the evening will finish with Compline.

Lincoln Cathedral Choir will be performing Carols by Candlelight in the Nave of the Cathedral on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 December – this performance of popular carols against a backdrop of twinkling candles always warms the soul during the cold winter months.

The Snowman flies into the Cathedral on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December. This family favourite only has a handful of tickets left. During the day, visitors will be able to take part in Snowman themed crafts in the Learning Centre.

Celebrating Christmas in the Cathedral

The weekend before Christmas is when Lincoln Cathedral truly comes into its own as the focus for the joyous celebration of Christmas.

On Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 December the Cathedral will host its much-loved services of lessons and carols, which have long marked the start of Christmas for many families in Lincolnshire and beyond. These will be followed by Midnight Mass at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve, celebrating the coming of Christ into the world.

Christmas Day highlights include the Sung Eucharist (with the Cathedral Choir and orchestra) at 10.30am, and Festal Evensong at 3.45pm which brings the day to a close with a procession to the crib.

The complete what’s on guide for the Christmas season, with full details of all our events and services, and information about how to book can be found on the Cathedral website.