Regarded by many as the unmissable prelude to the Christmas season, each of the three From Darkness to Light services celebrating the start of Advent began with the Cathedral plunged into total darkness and silence, broken only when the Advent Candle was lit and a solo voice rang out.

This year, the three processions, held on Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2, were attended by around 3,500 people.

In keeping with tradition, each service featured two large and colourful processions made up of nearly a hundred people including the Bishop of Salisbury, the Dean of Salisbury, Cathedral canons, and full Cathedral choir (boys, men and girls), which made their way around the ancient building.

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At the conclusion of the service, the medieval space was aglow from west to east with the light of 1,300 candles, movingly anticipating the coming of Christ in the season of Advent.

On all three nights, the cathedral choir was conducted by Salisbury Cathedral’s Director of Music, David Halls and was joined by a plainsong choir singing from the West End Gallery. John Challenger, Assistant Director of Music, played the organ.

The Very Rev Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury, said: “From Darkness to Light is honest about the turmoil that engulfs our world today. At the service’s beginning the Cathedral is plunged into deep darkness, and our thoughts turn to those enduring horror in Ukraine, in Israel, in Gaza, and in many other places. But Advent does not allow our trauma to overwhelm us. Instead, as candles are lit - one by one - we hear the ancient promise that God has not abandoned us, and that in the Christ child he has chosen to be with us, and to be with us always.”