Ripon Cathedral will host the BBC Radio 4 Christmas Day morning service which is broadcast shortly after 9am on December 25th. Preaching at the service is the Rt Revd Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds.
The Christmas morning service was recorded in the Cathedral’s nave just five days before Christmas and will air to an audience of millions across the world. There is a Yorkshire theme as the Dean of Ripon, the Very Revd John Dobson welcomes listeners by introducing the beautiful setting of Ripon Cathedral, and describes the hard-working, down-to-earth nature of the area covered by the Diocese; the Cathedral City of Ripon seen by many as the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, ‘a place where talk of shepherds and sheep connects the content of the ancient Christian gospel with the reality of contemporary life’.
(Pictured above, Canon Paul Greenwell, Canon Ruth Hind, Dean John Dobson, Bishop Nick Baines)
The music for the service is being led by Cathedral’s Lay Clerks and Girl Choristers under the auspices of the Cathedral’s Director of Music, Andrew Bryden. The Choir was joined by the Cathedral’s organist, Tim Harper, as well as a brass ensemble.
The service begins with a roaring rendition of the ‘Yorkshire Carol’, Christians Awake. The soaring voices of the Cathedral Choir are heard in pieces such as Rutter’s 'What Sweeter Music'. And in a Ripon Christmas tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, children from the choir and congregation will also assist in the giving of apples to members of the public.
During the service, listeners will be reminded of the realities of contemporary life for many in the region. Prayers, led by Canon Ruth Hind, will reflect the recent closure of Kellingham Colliery and Redcar Steelworks, as well as remembering those affected by recent flooding in Cumbria.
This realism is also the central theme of the sermon, which will be given by Bishop Nick Baines. He extends the invitation ‘to plunge ourselves into the depths of the real world as it now’, just as Jesus did 2000 years ago in Bethlehem.
The recording will air shortly after 9am on BBC Radio 4 on Christmas morning