Cathedral choirs sing for the first time in six month

Norwich Cathedral choir before the coronavirus pandemic have returned to performing after six months

Norwich Cathedral choir before the coronavirus pandemic have returned to performing after six months. Picture: Paul Hurst - Credit: Archant

The sound of music has returned to Norwich Cathedral for the first time in six months.

Norwich Cathedral choir before the coronavirus pandemic have returned to performing after six months

Norwich Cathedral choir before the coronavirus pandemic have returned to performing after six months. Picture: Paul Hurst - Credit: Archant

Members of the cathedral’s choir returned to rehearsals to prepare for their first sung service since the coronavirus pandemic begun.

It was the first break in music at the cathedral since the Commonwealth Period from 1649 to 1660 when music was forbidden in churches.

The choir’s adults singers - the lay clerks and choral scholars - sang for the first time during choral evensong on Thursday.

The boys and girls choristers have also been rehearsing to sing at services on Sunday, September 13, and Tuesday, September 15.

Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith

Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith - Credit: Archant


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Choirs will not sing in the traditional choir stalls, but in the nave to allow for social distancing. All singers will face forward than towards each other.

Since the resumption of public worship in July, services have been held without singing, until the government’s latest guidance now allows cathedral choirs to sing but not the congregation.

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The Rev Canon Aidan Platten, Canon Precentor at Norwich Cathedral, said: “Singing has been at the heart of worship in Norwich Cathedral since its foundation when the monks chanted their services.

“Worship is always supposed to give a glimpse through the gates of heaven; those open gates seem to be open even wider when our prayers are lifted heavenward by the voices of our choir.”

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