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London Christmas Carols

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St Paul's

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St Paul's
Southwark Cathedral
St-Martin-in-the-Fields
Trafalgar Square
Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall Carols by Candlelight
Royal Albert Hall
 

 

There are few better ways to get into a festive mood than singing carols around the Christmas tree or in one of London's famous churches and cathedrals. To make sure you know when and where to go this Yule, read our feature on all the best carol singing, Christmas services and festive concerts in the capital - including the popular Midnight Masses at St Paul's and Westminster.

 
 

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall's Carols by Candlelight are a splendid celebration of the season.

Christmas Carols & Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall Christmas Carols & Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall Christmas Carols & Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall The climax of the Royal Albert Hall's Christmas carols programme is the dimly lit traditional Christmas celebration, Carols by Candlelight, mixing sing-along carols with readings from Dickens and the Scriptures. The name is a bit misleading - there are no actual candles lighting the hall, just an 'evocative candle-lit style setting' - but the performers are all in eighteenth century costume, and the hall splendidly decorated to create a thoroughly festive atmosphere. The Mozart Festival Orchestra will perform a medley of seasonal classics from Handel, Vivaldi and Bach, special guest Julian Rhind-Tutt will perform a reading, and everyone will be invited to join in the extensive carol programme. Which includes The First Nowell, Good King Wenceslas, O come, all ye faithful, Away in a manger, O little town of Bethlehem, Once in royal David's city, and a rousing Hark! The Herald angels sing. Fine dining packages are also available for most events. Check the Royal Albert Hall website for full details.


Performances:

Fri 13 Dec, 7.30pm: Messiah
Sat 14 Dec, 1.30pm & 4.45pm: Christmas Carol Singalong
Sat 14 Dec, 8pm: Carols by Candlelight
Sun 15 Dec, 1pm & 4.15pm: Jingle Bell Christmas
Sun 15 Dec, 7.30pm: Messiah
Mon 16 Dec, 7.30pm: The BT Christmas Concert
Tues 17 Dec, 7.30pm: King's College Choir
Weds 18 Dec, 7.30pm: Royal Choral Society Christmas Carols
Thurs 19 Dec, 2.30pm: Christmas Carol Singalong
Thurs 19 Dec, 7.30pm: Classic Carols
Fri 20 Dec, 7.30pm: The Glory of Christmas
Sat 21 Dec, 1.30pm & 4.45pm: Christmas Carol Singalong
Sat 21 Dec, 8pm: Carols by Candlelight
Sun 22 Dec, 1pm & 4.15pm: Anton and Erin's Christmas Cracker
Sun 22 Dec, 8pm: Carols by Candlelight
Mon 23 Dec, 2.30pm: Anton and Erin's Christmas Cracker
Mon 23 Dec, 7.30pm: Carols by Candlelight
Tues 24 Dec, 2.30pm & 7pm: Carols by Candlelight
2013-12-132013-12-24 Where:
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London London, SW7 2AP
Category: Concerts

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AP

Tube: South Kensington Station

 

Dates: 13th - 24th December 2013

 

The climax of the Royal Albert Hall's Christmas carols programme is the dimly lit traditional Christmas celebration, Carols by Candlelight, mixing sing-along carols with readings from Dickens and the Scriptures. The name is a bit misleading - there are no actual candles lighting the hall, just an 'evocative candle-lit style setting' - but the performers are all in eighteenth century costume, and the hall splendidly decorated to create a thoroughly festive atmosphere. The Mozart Festival Orchestra will perform a medley of seasonal classics from Handel, Vivaldi and Bach, special guest Julian Rhind-Tutt will perform a reading, and everyone will be invited to join in the extensive carol programme. Which includes The First Nowell, Good King Wenceslas, O come, all ye faithful, Away in a manger, O little town of Bethlehem, Once in royal David's city, and a rousing Hark! The Herald angels sing. Fine dining packages are also available for most events. Check the Royal Albert Hall website for full details.

Performances:

Fri 13 Dec, 7.30pm: Messiah
Sat 14 Dec, 1.30pm & 4.45pm: Christmas Carol Singalong
Sat 14 Dec, 8pm: Carols by Candlelight
Sun 15 Dec, 1pm & 4.15pm: Jingle Bell Christmas
Sun 15 Dec, 7.30pm: Messiah
Mon 16 Dec, 7.30pm: The BT Christmas Concert
Tues 17 Dec, 7.30pm: King's College Choir
Weds 18 Dec, 7.30pm: Royal Choral Society Christmas Carols
Thurs 19 Dec, 2.30pm: Christmas Carol Singalong
Thurs 19 Dec, 7.30pm: Classic Carols
Fri 20 Dec, 7.30pm: The Glory of Christmas
Sat 21 Dec, 1.30pm & 4.45pm: Christmas Carol Singalong
Sat 21 Dec, 8pm: Carols by Candlelight
Sun 22 Dec, 1pm & 4.15pm: Anton and Erin's Christmas Cracker
Sun 22 Dec, 8pm: Carols by Candlelight
Mon 23 Dec, 2.30pm: Anton and Erin's Christmas Cracker
Mon 23 Dec, 7.30pm: Carols by Candlelight
Tues 24 Dec, 2.30pm & 7pm: Carols by Candlelight

 
 
 

St Paul's Cathedral

The iconic cathedral hosts an extensive series of concerts, including the ever popular Midnight Mass.

St Paul's Christmas Carols & Services St Paul's Christmas Carols & Services Few places are better for traditional Christmas services and carols than St Paul's, the spiritual home of Great Britain. To meet the increasing demand, this year St Paul's hosts a series of concerts throughout the month of December peaking with the excessively popular Midnight Mass service and carol concert. St Christopher Wren's great dome, which dominates much of the City, fills with the sound of the Cathedral Choir for a large part of the month and the most special services and concerts are free and available to all. The cathedral formed the centrepiece of the reconstruction of London after the Great Fire of 1666 and miraculously went on to survive the Blitz in World War Two when most of the surrounding area was flattened by German bombing raids. It consequently acted as an inspirational symbol of British strength in the nation's darkest hour and is now an icon of resurrection and rebirth - a potent symbol of all that is associated with Christmas. The festive season kicks off with the dramatic Advent Procession on Saturday 30th November, with words and music focusing on the themes of light in darkness and hope in despair.

Programme:

Sat 30 Nov & Sun 1 Dec, 6pm: The Advent Procession
Thu 5 Dec, 6.30pm: Messiah, George Frederic Handel
Fri 13 Dec, 7pm: Sankta Lucia
Sat 14 Dec, 5pm: Ceremony of Carols Benjamin Britten
Thurs 19 Dec, 6.30pm: A Celebration of Christmas
Sat 21 Dec, 1pm: Family Carols
Sun 22 Dec, 3.15pm: Choral Evensong
Mon 23 Dec, 4pm Christmas Carol Service
Tues 24 Dec, 4pm Christmas Eve Carol Service
Tues 24 Dec, 11.30pm: Midnight Eucharist
Wed 25 Dec, Christmas Day, 8am: Holy Communion
Wed 25 Dec, 11am: Sung Eucharist
Wed 25 Dec, 3.15pm: Festal Evensong
Thurs 26 Dec, 5pm: Evening Prayer with Carols
Fri 27 Dec, 5pm: Evening Prayer with Carols
Sat 28 Dec, 5pm: Evening Prayer with Carols

You are encouraged to arrive early, especially on December 19th and 24th. Services and events are open to all, with many free and unticketed. Check St Paul's official website for complete details.
2013-11-302013-12-28 Where:
St Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Churchyard, London London, EC4M 8AD
Category: Seasonal

St Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Churchyard, City, London, EC4M 8AD

Tube: St. Paul's Station, Mansion House Station, Blackfriars Station

 

Dates: 30th November - 28th December 2013

 

Few places are better for traditional Christmas services and carols than St Paul's, the spiritual home of Great Britain. To meet the increasing demand, this year St Paul's hosts a series of concerts throughout the month of December peaking with the excessively popular Midnight Mass service and carol concert. St Christopher Wren's great dome, which dominates much of the City, fills with the sound of the Cathedral Choir for a large part of the month and the most special services and concerts are free and available to all. The cathedral formed the centrepiece of the reconstruction of London after the Great Fire of 1666 and miraculously went on to survive the Blitz in World War Two when most of the surrounding area was flattened by German bombing raids. It consequently acted as an inspirational symbol of British strength in the nation's darkest hour and is now an icon of resurrection and rebirth - a potent symbol of all that is associated with Christmas. The festive season kicks off with the dramatic Advent Procession on Saturday 30th November, with words and music focusing on the themes of light in darkness and hope in despair.

Programme:

Sat 30 Nov & Sun 1 Dec, 6pm: The Advent Procession
Thu 5 Dec, 6.30pm: Messiah, George Frederic Handel
Fri 13 Dec, 7pm: Sankta Lucia
Sat 14 Dec, 5pm: Ceremony of Carols Benjamin Britten
Thurs 19 Dec, 6.30pm: A Celebration of Christmas
Sat 21 Dec, 1pm: Family Carols
Sun 22 Dec, 3.15pm: Choral Evensong
Mon 23 Dec, 4pm Christmas Carol Service
Tues 24 Dec, 4pm Christmas Eve Carol Service
Tues 24 Dec, 11.30pm: Midnight Eucharist
Wed 25 Dec, Christmas Day, 8am: Holy Communion
Wed 25 Dec, 11am: Sung Eucharist
Wed 25 Dec, 3.15pm: Festal Evensong
Thurs 26 Dec, 5pm: Evening Prayer with Carols
Fri 27 Dec, 5pm: Evening Prayer with Carols
Sat 28 Dec, 5pm: Evening Prayer with Carols

You are encouraged to arrive early, especially on December 19th and 24th. Services and events are open to all, with many free and unticketed. Check St Paul's official website for complete details.

 
 
 

Southwark Cathedral

Catch a festive service at historic Southwark, located in the heart of Borough Market.

Southwark Cathedral Carols & Services Southwark Cathedral Carols & Services Southwark Cathedral has a number of festive services open to the public throughout December. For the Cathedral Carol Service, the bulk of the singing is done by the boys, girls and men of the Cathedral Choir. The congregation will get a chance to join in and sing some of their favourites while the festive music will be interspersed with readings taken from St Matthew's account of the birth of Jesus. This year also sees the Cathedral host the Marie Curie Cancer Care's Carols in the City, welcoming a number of celebrity guests to carry out readings.

Programme (check website for latest listings)

Sun 1 Dec, 11am: Choral Eucharist
Sun 1 Sec, 6.30pm: The Advent Procession
Mon 2 Dec, 7pm: Marie Curie Cancer Care's Carols in the City
Tues 3 Dec, 7.30pm: A Christmas Celebration
Wed 4 Dec, 5.30pm: Christmas Service with Lighting of the Christmas Tree
Thurs 5 Dec: Mercy Ships Carol Service
Sat 7 Dec, 7.30pm: Merbecke Choir Christmas Choir Concert
Sat 14 Dec, 12pm: Christmas Greeting from Finland
Tues 17 Dec, 12.45pm: Cathedral Sing-In
Wed 18 Dec, 7.30pm: Bach Brandenburg Concertos
Fri 20 Dec, 7.30pm: Cathedral Choir Concert


2013-12-012013-12-20 Where:
Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, London London, SE1 9DA
Category: Seasonal

Southwark Cathedral, Bridge, Bankside, London, SE1 9DA

Tube: London Bridge Station

 

Dates: 01st - 20th December 2013

 

Southwark Cathedral has a number of festive services open to the public throughout December. For the Cathedral Carol Service, the bulk of the singing is done by the boys, girls and men of the Cathedral Choir. The congregation will get a chance to join in and sing some of their favourites while the festive music will be interspersed with readings taken from St Matthew's account of the birth of Jesus. This year also sees the Cathedral host the Marie Curie Cancer Care's Carols in the City, welcoming a number of celebrity guests to carry out readings.

Programme (check website for latest listings)

Sun 1 Dec, 11am: Choral Eucharist
Sun 1 Sec, 6.30pm: The Advent Procession
Mon 2 Dec, 7pm: Marie Curie Cancer Care's Carols in the City
Tues 3 Dec, 7.30pm: A Christmas Celebration
Wed 4 Dec, 5.30pm: Christmas Service with Lighting of the Christmas Tree
Thurs 5 Dec: Mercy Ships Carol Service
Sat 7 Dec, 7.30pm: Merbecke Choir Christmas Choir Concert
Sat 14 Dec, 12pm: Christmas Greeting from Finland
Tues 17 Dec, 12.45pm: Cathedral Sing-In
Wed 18 Dec, 7.30pm: Bach Brandenburg Concertos
Fri 20 Dec, 7.30pm: Cathedral Choir Concert

 
 
 

Westminster Abbey

For a truly royal Christmas, a trip to Westminster Abbey is essential.

Westminster Abbey Midnight Mass, Christmas Carols & Services Westminster Abbey Midnight Mass, Christmas Carols & Services Westminster Abbey Midnight Mass, Christmas Carols & Services Pack inside one of London's most famous landmarks for an old-fashioned service to take you right through to Christmas Day. Westminster Abbey has been at the centre of royal and religious life in Britain since the time of William the Conqueror who was crowned here on Christmas Day 1066, following the successful Norman invasion of the British Isles. More recently, it was where Prince William and Catherine Middleton chose to get married. It's easy to lose sight of what Christmas is all about in the sea of commercialisation, but sitting in the majestic history of the Abbey's nave will help remind you of the religious message. These awe-inspiring surroundings provide a striking backdrop for an evening of lessons and carols. Best to book in for the Services of Lessons & Carols on Monday 23rd December at 6pm and Christmas Eve at 4pm which are especially popular and require (free) tickets.

Programme

Sun 1 Dec, 4pm: An Advent Liturgy by candlelight
Sun 15 Dec, 5.45pm: That Yonge Child, including Britten's A Ceremony of Carols
Mon 23 Dec, 6pm: Service of Lessons & Carols (free tickets required)
Tues 24 Dec, Christmas Eve, 12noon: Crib Service for families
Tues 24 Dec, Christmas Eve, 4pm: Service of Lessons & Carols (free tickets)
Tues 24 Dec, Christmas Eve, 11.30pm: First Eucharist of Christmas
Wed 25 Dec, Christmas Day, 8am: Holy Communion
Wed 25 Dec, Christmas Day, 10.30am: Sung Eucharist (free tickets)
Wed 25 Dec, 3pm: Evensong
Sun 29 Dec, 11.15am: Sung Eucharist
Sun 29 Dec, 3pm: Evensong

Check www.westminster-abbey.org for full details and ticketing information.
2013-12-012013-12-29 Where:
Westminster Abbey, Dean's Yard, London London, SW1P 3PA
Category: Seasonal

Westminster Abbey, Dean's Yard, Westminster, London, SW1P 3PA

Tube: Westminster Station, St James's Park Station

 

Dates: 01st - 29th December 2013

 

Pack inside one of London's most famous landmarks for an old-fashioned service to take you right through to Christmas Day. Westminster Abbey has been at the centre of royal and religious life in Britain since the time of William the Conqueror who was crowned here on Christmas Day 1066, following the successful Norman invasion of the British Isles. More recently, it was where Prince William and Catherine Middleton chose to get married. It's easy to lose sight of what Christmas is all about in the sea of commercialisation, but sitting in the majestic history of the Abbey's nave will help remind you of the religious message. These awe-inspiring surroundings provide a striking backdrop for an evening of lessons and carols. Best to book in for the Services of Lessons & Carols on Monday 23rd December at 6pm and Christmas Eve at 4pm which are especially popular and require (free) tickets.

Programme

Sun 1 Dec, 4pm: An Advent Liturgy by candlelight
Sun 15 Dec, 5.45pm: That Yonge Child, including Britten's A Ceremony of Carols
Mon 23 Dec, 6pm: Service of Lessons & Carols (free tickets required)
Tues 24 Dec, Christmas Eve, 12noon: Crib Service for families
Tues 24 Dec, Christmas Eve, 4pm: Service of Lessons & Carols (free tickets)
Tues 24 Dec, Christmas Eve, 11.30pm: First Eucharist of Christmas
Wed 25 Dec, Christmas Day, 8am: Holy Communion
Wed 25 Dec, Christmas Day, 10.30am: Sung Eucharist (free tickets)
Wed 25 Dec, 3pm: Evensong
Sun 29 Dec, 11.15am: Sung Eucharist
Sun 29 Dec, 3pm: Evensong

Check www.westminster-abbey.org for full details and ticketing information.

 
 
 

St Martin-in-the-Fields

Try St-Martins-in-the-Fields for a Christmas helping of carols, candles and community spirit.

St Martin-in-the-Fields Christmas Carols & Services St Martin-in-the-Fields Christmas Carols & Services St Martin-in-the-Fields Christmas Carols & Services St Martin-in-the-Fields is a perfect venue for any kind of service or concert - especially when candlelit and on a cold winter's night - but it is really quite extraordinary during the festive period when it comes into its own with a generous dollop of Christmas carols and services. Located almost in the shadow of the towering Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, St Martin-in-the-Fields offers a seasonal glow throughout December with a range of services and carols that would get even Scrooge singing O Come, All Ye Faithful!

Programme:

Sat 30 Nov, 4pm: Family Christmas Carols
Sat 30 Nov, 7.30pm: Advent Carols by Candlelight
Mon 2 Dec, 1pm: St Martin-in-the-Fields Organ Series
Wed 4 Dec, 8pm: The Fabulations
Thu 5 Dec, 7.30pm: Bach Christmas Oratorio
Fri 6 Dec, 1pm & 7.30pm: Royal Norwegian Annual Christmas Concert
Sat 7 Dec, 4pm: Mini Maestro Family Christmas Concert
Sat 7 Dec, 7.30pm: Christmas Concert with Audience Carols
Thu 12 Dec, 7.30pm: The Glory of Christmas
Fri 13 Dec, 7.30pm: Christmas Gala by Candlelight
Sat 14 Dec, 4pm: Carols for Shoppers
Sat 14 Dec, 7.30pm: A Ceremony of Carols
Mon 16 Dec, 7.30pm: The Joys of Christmas
Thu 19 Dec, 7.30pm: The Spirit of Christmas by Candlelight
Fri 20 Dec, 7.30pm: Handle Messiah by Candlelight
Sat 21 Dec, 4.30pm: Christmas with the English Chamber Choir
Sat 21 Dec, 7.30pm: Handle Messiah by Candlelight
Mon 23 Dec, 4pm: Carols for Christmas by Candlelight
Mon 23 Dec, 7.30pm: The Lantern Carols: A Choral Celebration of Christmas
Thu 26 Dec, 7pm: Boxing Day Baroque
Fri 27 Dec, 7pm: Complete Brandenburgs at Christmas
Sat 28 Dec, 7.45pm: Viennese Christmas
Mon 30 Dec, 7pm: Handel Messiah – Opening Concert of the Brandenburg Choral Festival
Mon 30 Dec, 9.30pm: A Ceremony of Carols by Candlelight
Tue 31 Dec, 3.30pm: New Year's Eve Operetta Matinee



2013-11-302013-12-31 Where:
St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London London, WC2N 4JJ
Category: Seasonal

St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4JJ

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Embankment Underground Station, Covent Garden Station, Piccadilly Circus Station

 

Dates: 30th November - 31st December 2013

 

St Martin-in-the-Fields is a perfect venue for any kind of service or concert - especially when candlelit and on a cold winter's night - but it is really quite extraordinary during the festive period when it comes into its own with a generous dollop of Christmas carols and services. Located almost in the shadow of the towering Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, St Martin-in-the-Fields offers a seasonal glow throughout December with a range of services and carols that would get even Scrooge singing O Come, All Ye Faithful!

Programme:

Sat 30 Nov, 4pm: Family Christmas Carols
Sat 30 Nov, 7.30pm: Advent Carols by Candlelight
Mon 2 Dec, 1pm: St Martin-in-the-Fields Organ Series
Wed 4 Dec, 8pm: The Fabulations
Thu 5 Dec, 7.30pm: Bach Christmas Oratorio
Fri 6 Dec, 1pm & 7.30pm: Royal Norwegian Annual Christmas Concert
Sat 7 Dec, 4pm: Mini Maestro Family Christmas Concert
Sat 7 Dec, 7.30pm: Christmas Concert with Audience Carols
Thu 12 Dec, 7.30pm: The Glory of Christmas
Fri 13 Dec, 7.30pm: Christmas Gala by Candlelight
Sat 14 Dec, 4pm: Carols for Shoppers
Sat 14 Dec, 7.30pm: A Ceremony of Carols
Mon 16 Dec, 7.30pm: The Joys of Christmas
Thu 19 Dec, 7.30pm: The Spirit of Christmas by Candlelight
Fri 20 Dec, 7.30pm: Handle Messiah by Candlelight
Sat 21 Dec, 4.30pm: Christmas with the English Chamber Choir
Sat 21 Dec, 7.30pm: Handle Messiah by Candlelight
Mon 23 Dec, 4pm: Carols for Christmas by Candlelight
Mon 23 Dec, 7.30pm: The Lantern Carols: A Choral Celebration of Christmas
Thu 26 Dec, 7pm: Boxing Day Baroque
Fri 27 Dec, 7pm: Complete Brandenburgs at Christmas
Sat 28 Dec, 7.45pm: Viennese Christmas
Mon 30 Dec, 7pm: Handel Messiah - Opening Concert of the Brandenburg Choral Festival
Mon 30 Dec, 9.30pm: A Ceremony of Carols by Candlelight
Tue 31 Dec, 3.30pm: New Year's Eve Operetta Matinee

 
 
 

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree & Carols

For a truly memorable Christmas experience it has to be carols in Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree & Carols Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree & Carols Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree & Carols Since 1947, stately Trafalgar Square receives a majestic Norwegian Christmas Tree as an annual gift from the people of Oslo, thanking Britain for its support and friendship during World War Two. The enormous tree is a popular seasonal tourist attraction, particularly in the fortnight leading up to Christmas, when each evening (9th-22nd Dec) a different choir gathers there to sing carols and raise money for a range of voluntary or charitable organisations. Passers-by are welcome to come and listen to the carols in the square, and even join in the festive cheer. Nelson's Column is decorated with Norwegian white lights and the tree is illuminated from noon until midnight until the Twelfth Night of Christmas in early January. The tree actually goes up in late November if you want to see it in all its naked evergreen glory.
2013-12-092013-12-22 Where:
Trafalgar Square, Central London London, WC2N 5DS
Category: Seasonal

Trafalgar Square, Central, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DS

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Embankment Underground Station, Piccadilly Circus Station

 

Dates: 09th - 22nd December 2013

 

Since 1947, stately Trafalgar Square receives a majestic Norwegian Christmas Tree as an annual gift from the people of Oslo, thanking Britain for its support and friendship during World War Two. The enormous tree is a popular seasonal tourist attraction, particularly in the fortnight leading up to Christmas, when each evening (9th-22nd Dec) a different choir gathers there to sing carols and raise money for a range of voluntary or charitable organisations. Passers-by are welcome to come and listen to the carols in the square, and even join in the festive cheer. Nelson's Column is decorated with Norwegian white lights and the tree is illuminated from noon until midnight until the Twelfth Night of Christmas in early January. The tree actually goes up in late November if you want to see it in all its naked evergreen glory.