The sound of carols floated across The Mound in Edinburgh at the annual Nativity Carol Concert on Sunday.
The event marked the first day of Advent and featured the Salvation Army brass band, Blackhall St Columba's Choir, Wester Hailes Education Centre Choir and St Andrew's and St George's West Choir.
Bishop John Armes (Scottish Episcopal Church) gave the Christmas message while and Rev Angus Mathieson (Church of Scotland) brought prayers for the City.
The annual Nativity Carol Concert in Edinburgh is a wonderful event, and the Nativity scene on The Mound reminds passers-by about the true meaning of Christmas. pic.twitter.com/j70vra2gOu
— Archbishop Leo Cushley (@leocushley) December 2, 2019
Sir Tom Farmer, who sponsors the crib, said: “Aren’t we lucky to live in the greatest city in the world? A number of cities throughout the world no longer celebrate that birth. I congratulate Edinburgh Council for have made sure there is a nativity scene in the city for the last 17 years.”
Archbishop Leo Cushley told those who gathered: “This is a lovely new venue for the crib, right next to the city’s Christmas tree as well. I hope it will contribute to helping people remember why we celebrate with this special festival each year at the beginning of Advent.”
Blessing the crib, he prayed: “God our loving Father we ask you to be close to us as we recall the birth of your son at Christmas. We ask you to bless this image of him and his family so that everyone who sees it will be reminded of he true meaning of Christmas and how you sent your son to save us.”
Archbishop Leo Cushley is encouraging Catholics to 'kick-start' their Advent at the annual Nativity Carol Concert in Edinburgh.
The ecumenical event will see carols sung by Blackhall St Columba’s Choir, St Andrew’s and St Georges West Choir, Wester Hailes Education Centre Choir, and the Salvation Army Brass Band. The Nativity Scene itself is donated by Catholic businessman and entrepreneur Sir Tom Farmer and his wife.
The free event takes place on Sunday 1 December at 3pm and will be at a new location on The Mound in the city centre.
Archbishop Leo Cushley said: “It’s a great way to kick-start the Advent season. Choirs singing carols, a beautifully lit nativity scene and The Salvation Army bringing the brass! It’s also a positive witness of our Catholic faith - a chance to show the joy that comes from trusting in God by singing His praise.
"In these days when religion is often pushed to the margins, we’ll be together in a busy city centre location, with other Christians, to announce the Good News of the coming of the Saviour. A special thanks to Sir Tom and Lady Farmer for continuing to donate the nativity scene each year.
"I’m looking forward to blessing the crib, and if it’s a cold day, some enthusiastic carol singing will help keep us all warm!”