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Cathedral Christmas family fun returns

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St Mary’s lit up for Christmas at the Cathedral. Photo: Dominic Sullivan
St Mary’s lit up for Christmas at the Cathedral. Photo: Dominic Sullivan

The Archdiocese of Sydney is inviting Sydneysiders from all backgrounds to come and experience the joy of Christmas, as St Mary’s Cathedral once again prepares for the most anticipated festive tradition on the Sydney calendar: Christmas at the Cathedral.

Commencing 14 December and running right up until Christmas Day, the public is invited to attend Australia’s mother church to celebrate this year’s theme, The 12 Days of Christmas, while immersing themselves in the cathedral’s annual festival of Christmas wonder and delight.

The cathedral forecourt will be totally transformed with state-of-the-art visual effects, shimmering lights and a spellbinding soundtrack, immersing visitors in a once-in-a-lifetime Christmas odyssey.

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The much-anticipated event will see the forecourt packed with delicious food and gift stalls as well as a stage featuring world class entertainment, continuing its tradition as the spectacular focal point for Sydney’s Christmas celebrations in 2023.

The cathedral’s glorious Nativity scene and beautifully illuminated imagery projected onto the cathedral facade will be a reminder of the true spirit of Christmas, while the cathedral itself will throw open its doors, inviting all visitors to celebrate the birth of Christ, inside Sydney’s spiritual home.

On the forecourt, a dazzling array of Sydney’s top musicians will provide the perfect soundtrack of festive joy.

This year features an array of mouthwatering food stalls boasting everything from classic and fusion dumplings, delectable Gelatissimo gelato and warm Portuguese tarts.

Assisting the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney to help create the city’s premier Christmas celebration event is the major events company The Epic Team.

The man behind celebrations such as Sydney’s celebrated New Year’s Eve on the Cahill Expressway, Director Ian Steigrad said he wanted to bring even more magic to this year’s event.

“This year’s Christmas at the Cathedral extends last year’s event with more entertainment, gift stalls, more food choices and a whole lot of Christmas cheer,” Steigrad said.

“Come down for dinner, enjoy the stage performances, get the kids faces painted, buy some gifts and soak up the Christmas cheer, as evening sets in beneath 600 fairy lights and we wait for the illumination of the Cathedral at 8:30pm,” he said.

With the stage set for a visual feast, the world-famous Saint Mary’s Cathedral Choir will perform on 15 December and provide the perfect musical accompaniment, inviting audiences to join them in Christmas favourites like “O, Come, all Ye Faithful” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

The Director of Music at St Mary’s Cathedral, Daniel Justin, will lead the choir through such favourites as Handel’s “Messiah” and “Once in Royal David’s City” and can’t wait to introduce their powerful repertoire to new audiences.

“Music is open to all, and our choir sings publicly at Mass nearly every day in the cathedral. This will be an opportunity for us to bring our music outside our familiar stone walls to people who may have never heard our wonderful choir, and hopefully spread some of the joy and peace of Christmas,” Justin said.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney also expressly thanks its presenting partner, PAYCE Foundation, for assisting it in bringing this magnificent gift to Sydney.

“Christmas at the Cathedral is now one of Sydney’s favourite and most popular holiday traditions, allowing people young and old to share in the wonder and joy of Christmas. It’s a tradition that builds every year, bringing together people from all walks of life,” said PAYCE Foundation Director, Dominic Sullivan.

Sullivan said that given the enormous pressures families are experiencing, it was important for PAYCE to support an event that was totally free.

“With many families struggling with the cost of living, we are proud to sponsor an amazing and free community event. Each year hundreds of thousands of Sydneysiders have come to appreciate this spectacular light show and share in the Christmas season,” he said.

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