Home » Chapel

Chapel services

In addition to the regular Chapel services, the Chapel organises a number of special events and services which take place during the year. You can view more information about past events held in Chapel, and a summary of events is shown below.

The Advent Carol Services with be held on Saturday 24 November 2018 at 6.00pm and Sunday 25 November 2018 at 3.00pm.  The Sunday service will be recorded by BBC Radio 3 and broadcast on Advent Sunday (2 December 2018) at 3.00pm.

The pattern of the Advent service, in its four sections, reflects the season’s growing anticipation, both of the first coming of Christ and of that Day when the prayer ‘Thy Kingdom come’ is finally and fully answered.


Entrance to this Service is by ticket only.

Application for Tickets to this Service will open in Mid October.

Tickets for these services are free, however priority will be given to members of the College.

We very much regret that, following a recent audit of seating capacity in Chapel, we are unable to accept ticket applications from members of the public.  Should you wish to queue outside the Chapel on Saturday or Sunday, we will endeavour to seat as many people as possible in seats which are unclaimed by ticket holders 20 minutes before the commencement of the respective service.  Please note that seats are not guaranteed and queuing is entirely at your own risk. 

Please note that these services are not suitable for toddlers or babies.


If you have any quries about this, or any service, please email the Chapel Clerk or phone on (01223) 338676.



The service sheet for last year can be found below.

  - 2017 Advent Carol Service Order of Service


The next Epiphany Carol Services will be held on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January 2018 at 6.00pm.

This Candlelit Service of readings and music celebrate the season of Epiphany.

Application for Tickets should be made by 8 January 2018

The readings and hymns tell the story of the coming of Christ, the Magi’s visit, and the presentation in the Temple. Music this year will include The Shepherd’s Carol (Chilcott), Lute-book Lullaby (L’Estrange), Nunc Dimittis (Holst), The Linden Tree Carol (arr. Jacques), Vox in Rama (Kirbye), Silent Night (arr. Ledger), Sir Christemas (Mathias), Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël (Poulenc) and Ding! dong! merrily on high (arr. Wilberg).


Application for tickets have now closed, however we do anticipate that there will be seats available on the day, alternatively please email s.v.stokes@joh.cam.ac.uk

Please note that this service is unsuitable for babies and toddlers.

A Choral Evensong takes place on Ash Wednesday, 14 February 2018 at 6.30pm.

 - 2017 Ash Wednesday Order of Service

A service of music and readings reflecting on the Passion of Christ.
Will be held on Saturday 10 March 2018 at 6.00pm.

Music this year will include Christus factus est (Bruckner), Miserere mei, Deus (Byrd), O King of the Friday (Grier), All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn (Handel), He trusted in God that He would deliver Him (Handel), Crucifixus etiam pro nobis (Lotti), God so loved the world (Stainer) and Hosanna to the Son of David (Weelkes). 

Applications for this Service may be made here.

Deadline for applications is Friday 16 February 2018


Please note that priority must be given to members of the College.

This Service is unsuitable for babies and toddlers.

Every year on Ascension Day, the Choir ascends the 163ft Chapel Tower and sings the Ascension Day Carol.

This custom dates from 1902 and was begun by the then Director of Music, Cyril Rootham, following a conversation with Sir Joseph Larmor. Sir Jospeh was insistent that a choir singing from the tower would not be heard from the ground. Rootham was keen to prove him wrong and saw Ascension Day as the perfect time to do it.

Without telling anyone in College, the Choir ascended the tower and as the clock finished striking noon, they started to sing an Ascension Day Carol. To Rootham's delight, he saw Sir Joseph open his window in the court below to see where the music was coming from. The event proved popular and since then it has been repeated every year.