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A virtual carol service from St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh

A virtual carol service from St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh

The men’s and boys’ choir of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh has a long and distinguished history, dating back in its present form to at least 1634. Due to the pandemic, however, choral services in the Cathedral had to stop from 15 March 2020 and were not able to resume until September 2020. The requirements of social distancing and current regulations have meant that the boys and men have been unable to sing together since March. 

Some weeks ago, in case of a prolonged lockdown over the Christmas period, the gentlemen of the choir recorded a service of Lessons and Carols, which can be used in an online format for worship by members of the Cathedral congregation and many more. The choir was directed by Dr Stephen Timpany, Organist and Master of the Choristers, and the organ was played by Canon Dr Peter Thompson, Assistant Organist.

Speaking about this year’s Carol Service, Dr Timpany said, “Cathedrals are usually the largest churches in their diocese and are the central church where everyone can meet. This year, the Cathedral offers a shortened version of the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols to the diocese, and to all members of the local community. The service will be available online on YouTube – ‘Armagh Cathedral Choir’ – and other formats from the afternoon of Sunday 20 December.”

Stephen continued, “The service features readings and prayers by Canon William Adair, Rector of St Columba’s, Portadown, and Canon Dr Peter Thompson, Rector of Donaghmore, and well–known carols and solos by the gentleman of the choir.”

The clergy, choir and congregation of Armagh Cathedral wish everyone a happy Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021.