From darkness to light: the Advent procession –Salisbury Cathedral, UK

This annual service, ‘From Darkness to Light’, held in Salisbury Cathedral starts in complete darkness.  A single candle is lit, and the light spreads throughout the cathedral until hundreds of lights burn brightly illuminating the vastness.

These words from the programme set the scene:

“The darkness is at one and the same time a comforting and a frightening place. It is the place where we dream, where our hearts and minds wander towards the divine, where we imagine what our life and the lives of those around us might one day become. It is also the place where our fears come to life, where we dread the future, worry over our decisions, and where our vulnerabilities feel most profound… Into the dark and forgotten places of our world, into the parts of our lives we fear or worry about, and into the darkness of our hearts, into the places which we can hardly bear to recognise, the light comes.”

The service includes these readings:

Wisdom 9:9-11

1 Corinthians 2:1-7

Luke 1:76-79

Isaiah 42:5-7

Luke 4:16-20

Isaiah 9:2, 6-7

Luke 1:26-35

Jeremiah 31:31-33

Revelation 22:1-5, 20