Event: Advent concert by candlelight

Enjoy beautiful festive choral music this advent with a candlelit concert from the choir of St Mary’s Cathedral!

It will perform it's 'Light fo Light' show to audiences across the Archdiocese at the following venues:

FALKIRK St Francis Xavier's Church, Wednesday 7 December, 8pm.
KILSYTH St Patrick's Church, Saturday 10 December, 8pm.
DUNFERMLINE St Margaret's RC Church, Friday 16 December, 8pm.

Tickets are £5 (or £10 family) and available via Eventbrite or on the door on the night. Visit https://bit.ly/3T7wRRY

Michael Ferguson, director of music at St Mary’s Cathedral, said the hour-long performance will feature "some of the most beautiful festive choral music ever written".

He added "We’ll take everyone on a musical journey that is both reflective and meditative, joyful and inspiring. It’ll be a perfect way to celebrate the season of Advent and to prepare for Christmas.”

The choir will sing some much loved carols, as well as pieces by composers such as John Tavener, Morten Lauridsen, Philip Stopford, and John Rutter.

Sing along

Michael, a lecturer in music at St Andrews University, added: “It has been a pleasure to work on the preparations with Fr Daniel Doherty at St Francis Xavier’s, Fr Scott Deeley at St Patrick’s, and Fr Cyriac Palakudyil at St Margaret’s.

"All three priests have invited us so warmly into their parishes to spend an evening making music with their communities, and we’re really looking forward to meeting everyone.”

"There is an opportunity for everyone to get involved and to sing along!”

Founded in 2018, the Schola Cantorum brings together eight excellent singers to perform sacred music to the very highest of standards in the liturgy.

Light from Light: St Francis Xavier’s Church in Falkirk on Wednesday 7 December, St Patrick’s Church in Kilsyth on 10 December, and St Margaret’s Memorial Church in Dunfermline on Friday 16 December. All concerts begin at 8pm. Tickets are £5 (or £10 family) and available via Eventbrite or on the door on the night. Visit https://bit.ly/3T7wRRY

The Schola Cantorum’s CD, With Angels and Archangels, is available now: https://www.stmaryscathedral.co.uk/store/withangels


Event: Enjoy an advent concert by candlelight

The Schola Cantorum of St Mary's Cathedral is on tour this Advent!

The choir will perform three special concerts by candlelight, delivering beautiful festive choral music at the following churches:

  • FALKIRK St Francis Xavier's Church, Wednesday 7 December, 8pm.
  • KILSYTH St Patrick's Church, Saturday 10 December, 8pm.
  • DUNFERMLINE St Margaret's RC Church, Friday 16 December, 8pm.

Michael Ferguson, musical director of the Schola Cantorum, said: “These candlelit concerts will be peaceful and uplifting – an opportunity to escape the Christmas frenzy and enjoy some wonderful, atmospheric music from these special singers. All are welcome.”

Tickets: £5 standard or £10 family, available on the door or from Eventbrite https://bit.ly/3T7wRRY


The Schola Cantorum is unique in the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, and is one of the few in the Catholic Church in Scotland existing principally to sing the repertoire of the historical treasury of sacred music to the highest possible standards in cathedral worship.

The ensemble not only embodies excellence in choral singing, but also a commitment to sharing the musical fruits of two millennia of Christian worship with the Catholic community and beyond.

The octet’s debut album, With Angels and Archangels, is out now.

WATCH: Archbishop's reflection at Advent Rosary for Life

Archbishop Cushley gave a reflection at our Advent Rosary for Life last night (Tuesday 21st). Watch it below or on YouTube

Thanks to all who prayed the Rosary with us in Advent for unborn children, their mothers and all pro-life intentions.

Register here for our annual Mass for the Feast of the Holy Innocents, which takes place at St Margaret's Chapel, Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, at midday on Tuesday 28 December.



WATCH: Get inspired in Advent!

Get inspired ahead of Christmas with our Advent Talks, all available on YouTube now.

WATCH: Get inspired in Advent!

Get inspired ahead of Christmas with our Advent Talks, each Monday in Advent a 7:30pm

The link to join each weekis bit.ly/AdventTalk (or Webinar ID: 891 8951 4801). No registration required, just click the link a few mins before the event begins. We'll also stream the talk on our YouTube channel.

The talks take place each Monday throughout Advent at 7:30pm.  Watch previous talks in the series below.

WATCH: Sr Anna Marie's Advent Reflection (2)

Get ready for Christmas with this second Advent Reflection from Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM, the Archdiocesan Advisor on Catechetics, who is based at St Andrew's Convent in Edinburgh.

Watch the talk here.

WATCH: Sr Anna Marie's Advent Reflection (1)

Get ready for Christmas with this first or two talks by Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM, originally produced for teachers in our Diocese.

She's the Archdiocesan Advisor on Catechetics, based at St Andrew's Convent in Edinburgh. The next talk will be posted tomorrow!

Watch the talk here.

WATCH: 17 December - The O Antiphons of Advent

What are the O Antiphons that begin today in the Church's Liturgy? Sr Anna Marie McGuan, our Catechetics advisor, explains in this 2 min vid.

You can watch the full Advent talk 'Be Still' on our YouTube channel.

Get ready for Advent with our Festive 5!

In this final week before Advent we've put together five ways you can prepare spiritually for the new liturgical year which begins on Sunday.

1. Join the Archbishop's Advent talk this Sunday

Archbishop Cushley picks apart the impact of the pandemic with a message of hope as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. His talk is titled 'Unwrapping Advent' and it takes place on Zoom this Sunday (29 Nov) from 7-8pm. Register now: bit.ly/UnwrappingAdvent

2. Get familiar with St Mark

Advent is the start of the new liturgical year, where we hear St Mark's Gospel at Sunday Mass. Let Father Andrew Garden (St David's, Dalkeith) guide you in this video.

3. Practice charity

Parishes across the Archdiocese are running initiatives to help struggling families in their community this Christmas. If you can make a donation, please do so. Our Caritas, Justice & Peace Commission sent this article to all parishes on how we can practice charity in our parish during Advent. Check out the below video to see the amazing response to a toy appeal at St Francis Xavier's in Falkirk.

4. Pray the Rosary!

Join people across the Archdiocese on Zoom to pray for unborn children, their mothers and all Pro-Life intentions. Begins this Monday at 7:00pm and each following Monday in Advent. To register, click here.

Our Catechetics team has also put together this Meaning of Advent pamphlet telling you all about this important season. We'll also make available our Children's Liturgy at Home guide for each Sunday in Advent (click resources on this page).

Priests! Check out these handy online resources

5. Go on silent retreat

Take time out at St Mary's Monastery at Kinnoull, Perth, to prepare in joyful expectation for the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Charlie Corrigan C.Ss.R. will lead the retreat with inspiring talks in a time of prayerful, silent recollection, with opportunities to celebrate the Sacraments and join in community prayer.

If you're a priest, you can go on an Advent afternoon of recollection (online).

Shoppers encouraged to go to confession this Christmas

Shoppers in Edinburgh are being encouraged to take time out for confession this Christmas.

Record numbers of people have visited ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’ so far, the centrepiece being the festive market in Prince Street Gardens.

Now the Archdiocese is asking visiting Catholics to receive the sacrament of reconciliation at St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral.

Archbishop Leo Cushley said: “We spend a lot of time preparing for Christmas.

“Many people across the Archdiocese visit the city to buy gifts and experience the market.

“As Catholics, one of the best things we can do is prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord.

“A trip to confession is a lovely way to do that, so we are able to welcome the Lord with a clear conscience and a pure heart when the time comes.”

Figures show that more than 500,000 visitors visited Edinburgh’s Christmas in the first nine days of the event. That number is up 13 per cent on the same period last year.

St Mary’s Cathedral is ideally placed for shoppers, being based on Broughton Street at the top of Leith Walk, next to John Lewis.

The cathedral's website states: "If you are nervous about coming to confession either because of what you have on your conscience, or because it has been a long time since your last confession, have no fear; what awaits you in the confessional is the joy and peace of God’s loving mercy and the priest will gently help to discover that."

A spokesman for the Archdiocese said: "If you haven’t been to confession for a while, don’t worry. Simply let the priest know and he will guide you. As Pope Francis says, in the confessional we don’t meet a severe judge, but the merciful Father.”

Confession at St Mary’s Cathedral is available weekdays after 12:45pm Mass and between 5:00-6:00pm. On Saturday it is available 10:30am-to midday and from 5:00pm to 5:45pm. Confessions are heard in Polish Monday to Friday from 5:00pm until 6:00pm and on Saturdays from 8:00am until 9:00am.