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Artistic talents shine at Christmas at the Cathedral

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The arts group Artes Christi Australia, pictured playing at an event in 2017, will perform on the night of Sunday 11 December. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
The arts group Artes Christi Australia, pictured playing at an event in 2017, will perform on the night of Sunday 11 December. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

A leading Sydney Catholic arts group which has been invited to perform at St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican and the Notre Dame Basilica in Paris is amongst a talented array of performers who will entertain the large crowds expected at Christmas at the Cathedral.

This special family event, which has been a much-loved event on Sydney’s Christmas calendar for over a decade, will be officially launched by Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP on Thursday 8 December with festivities beginning at 7pm and the spectacular light show projected onto St Mary’s Cathedral at 8.30pm.

The event will run for 18 nights, finishing on Christmas Day.

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The arts group Artes Christi Australia, which will sing on the night of Sunday 11 December, has entertained audiences of over 50,000 people across Australia and Europe since it was established in 2005 including popular Christmas concerts, theatrical productions and charity events.

“Our group is very much committed to expressing faith through the arts and we see Christmas at the Cathedral as a great way for us … to engage with the broader community.”

Its director, Anthony McCarthy says he is very pleased that this year the team of Artes Christi choir members and soloists will be joined by singers from the University Chaplaincies across Sydney.

“Christmas is a very important time for us and we’re very proud to continue our involvement with this event which we can trace back to when it started”, Mr McCarthy explained.

“Our group is very much committed to expressing faith through the arts and we see Christmas at the Cathedral as a great way for us as a Church to engage with the broader community”.

School and parish choirs and bands also figure prominently amongst this year’s performers including St Mary’s Cathedral College band on 9 December, St Ursula’s College in Kingsgrove on 14 December and St Kevin’s Eastwood Men’s Choir on 20 December.

Crowds watch the lights from the forecourt of St Mary's Cathedral. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Crowds watch the lights from the forecourt of St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Community choirs will also be singing Christmas favourites, including the Samoan choir on 10 December.

Christmas at the Cathedral sponsor, CommBank, sees the event as a great unifier, helping to bring the Sydney community together each December.

Executive General Manager for Major Client Group, Mr Chris Williams, says the bank is proud to continue its sponsorship for a second year.

“Christmas at the Cathedral is an event that brings happiness to so many people of all ages and of all backgrounds from our community.”

“The sheer number of people who came along in previous years to watch the spectacular lightshow really highlights the importance of this event”, he told The Catholic Weekly.

“We live in an incredibly diverse and dynamic city and Christmas at the Cathedral is an inclusive event that people can experience and enjoy with their friends, families and the wider Sydney community”.

“Christmas at the Cathedral is an event that brings happiness to so many people of all ages and of all backgrounds from across our community.

“Christmas is a special time of year, and Christmas at the Cathedral provides us with a chance to stop and reflect on what’s important in our lives, while delivering a message of hope, joy and optimism for the year ahead”.

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