Advent Carols

Sunday 3rd December, 2023, at 5:30 pm

A traditional service of music and readings marking the beginning of Advent and the journey towards the light and hope of Christmas.

The Advent Carols service is the first and most dramatic of our Advent events. At the heart of the darkest and bleakest month of the year, Christians mark the dawning of a new kind of hope, and the prospect of a different kind of future, as we celebrate the coming of the light of Christ into our world.

The service mirrors this journey, beginning in darkness and expectation, then moving slowly into light, as the hope-filled message of Christmas unfolds in readings and music.

The service is open to all, ticketless and free to attend. Many of our Advent events are very busy so to avoid disappointment please register to guarantee your place. At least 75 seats will be held for those who turn up on the day without registration.

If you need assistance with this, please contact the office on 020 7427 0133 or email

Advent is a time of preparation and our anthems, hymns and readings help us reflect on the needs of the world and recognise the true significance of the coming of Christ.

This year’s Advent Carol service begins with familiar music Herbert Howells and culminates with three of William Byrd’s iconic settings of Advent texts, sung from the altar steps, to mark the 400th anniversary of the composer’s death.

However, the music also includes two recently composed pieces by former members of St Bride’s Choir – Jonathan Rathbone’s setting of Christina Rosetti’s The Advent Moon and one of the Marian antiphons by Helen Neeves, now a member of the BBC Singers, who have performed several of her compositions.

Download Order of Online Service (pdf)

A pre-recorded version of this service will also stream online on this page at the same time as the service in church, and on our pages at Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud.

You can also find and subscribe to this service released as a podcast on itunes, Spotify or wherever you find your podcasts.

There will be a retiring collection at the end of the service to support the work, ministry and music-making of St Bride’s and help maintain our magnificent Wren church.

congregation sitting for service


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