Advent and Christmas

Come to the cathedral this Advent and Christmas and enjoy this special time of year in your own way. Join a traditional carol service and get the whole family in the festive spirit with family-friendly events and services.

Searching for gift ideas? Pop along to our shop, or browse below for tickets for our concerts next year.

Upcoming Christmas and New Year services

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Various dates

Friday 22 December, 6pm and Sunday 24 December, 3pm. Sing hymns with Durham Cathedral Choir and hear members of the community give readings as we recount the Christmas story.

More info

Blessing of the Crib and Lighting of the Christmas Tree

Sunday 10 December 2023 3:30pm

Join us as the cathedral’s giant Christmas tree is lit and the nativity scene is blessed.

More info

Midnight Mass

Sunday 24 December 2023 & Monday 25 December 2023 11:00pm

Join us to celebrate the first Eucharist of Christmas as midnight strikes.

More info

Durham Churches Together New Year's Eve Service

Sunday 31 December 2023 5:30pm

Durham Churches Together hold a service to reflect on the year past and welcome the new year to come.

More info

Sung Eucharist for the Epiphany

Saturday 6 January 2024 7:30pm

At this service we celebrate the visit of the Magi to the Christ-child, the moment when God’s glory was revealed to the nations of the world.

More info

Epiphany Procession

Sunday 21 January 2024 3:30pm

Towards the end of the Epiphany season Durham Cathedral holds an Epiphany Procession service, which remembers the events of Jesus' early life as he was revealed as the son of God.

More info

Sung Eucharist for Candlemas

Friday 2 February 2024 5:30pm

Durham Cathedral is lit with hundreds of candles for a service in which we celebrate the presentation of Jesus in the Jerusalem Temple, the feast day which traditionally brings the Christmas season to an end.

More info

Carol services in December

NHS Carol Service

Thursday 7 December 2023 7:30pm

Past and present NHS staff will join with family and friends in a traditional Christmas carol service of readings, carols and a Christmas message.

More info

Christmas with the Choirs of Durham Cathedral and EverReady Band

Saturday 9 December 20237:30pm

Book tickets

Mencap Carol Service

Saturday 16 December 2023 2:30pm

A carol service organised by Mencap, a charity working to improve the lives of those with learning disabilities.

More info

St Cuthbert's Hospice Light Up a Life Service

Sunday 17 December 2023 7:00pm

Remember and celebrate the lives of lost loved ones this Christmas.

More info

Do I need a ticket to come to a service?

Unless otherwise indicated, none of our Christmas services are ticketed this year. Entry to the cathedral will be first come, first served, and we suggest you dress warmly for queueing outside.

Things to enjoy in the cathedral this Christmas

  • Wrap up warm and enjoy the cold air with walks on the riverbanks and woodlands that surround the cathedral. We have downloadable trails to suit all interests, including photography, geology, nature, history, and pilgrimage.
  • Grab a hot drink from the café and try one of our delicious homemade sweet treats.
  • Wander around the gift shop and pick up a souvenir to remind you of your visit.
  • Find out how the cathedral was founded by wandering monks, how the cathedral has looked through years gone by, and how the building has survived centuries of history, in a 1-hour tour with one our expert volunteer guides.
  • Find refuge from the hustle and bustle in the cathedral, and take a moment to remember those who won't be with us this year. Light a candle at one of our candle stands, come to a service, and speak to a chaplain if you would like someone to share your worries with.

Concerts and Festive Theatre

Get in the festive spirit and enjoy a special evening performance in the atmospheric setting of the Nave.

Christmas Gifts

Searching for gift ideas for the person in your life who's difficult to buy for? Treat them to a concert or unique experience at the cathedral in 2024.