Possibly the most visually stunning service of the year, Candlemas took place last week in the picturesque setting of the choir stalls of Wells Cathedral. A smaller, more intimate occasion than others in the cathedral, the service celebrates the light brought to the world by God.
Camerata fulfilled their usual role of providing the musical accompaniment for the service, singing movements from Byrd’s Mass for three voices and the Nunc Dimitis from Dyson’s Evening Service in D. Four Camerata members also began proceedings with an unaccompanied antiphon that echoed around the cathedral, much like it would have done when it was first composed.
Together with the congregation, Camerata then led the candlelit procession around the nave of the cathedral, while singing hymns. The atmosphere of darkness only brightened by candlelight is one of the more magical moments of the religious year. All in all, it was a lovely service with music as a crucial element in creating the intimate atmosphere.