A Special Report is content that is edited and produced by the Special Reports unit within The Irish Times Content Studio. It is supported by advertisers who may contribute to the report, but who do not have editorial control.

Hark the angelic heralds sing: the best Christmas carol services

December dates to feed your soul, including Moya Brennan and Anúna

The High Hopes Choir are in Kilkenny on Sunday December 2nd, and in Christ Church Cathedral on December 3rd and 4th

The High Hopes Choir are in Kilkenny on Sunday December 2nd, and in Christ Church Cathedral on December 3rd and 4th


Nothing gets you into the Christmas spirit quite like a carol service, so make a date with one of these sessions. Christmas a Capella is an evening with vocal harmony group 4 in a Bar at Freemason’s Lodge, the Grand Lodge of Ireland, on Dublin’s Molesworth Street on Saturday December 1st and Sunday December 2nd, tickets from €20.

Set up by conductor David Brophy to help people who are homeless and to change their lives through music, The High Hopes Choir (HHC) and the Carlow Ukulele Players play St Mary’s Medieval Mile Museum, Kilkenny on Sunday, December 2nd, tickets from €5. On Monday December 3rd, and Tuesday December 4th, The HHC and the Dublin Ukulele Collective demonstrate the beautiful acoustics of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin 8. The group will be joined by Balbriggan Gospel Choir on Monday and Tuesday, with tickets from €22.50.

On Tuesday December 4th there’s a choral performance in the Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle, a historic setting that includes a post-concert visit to the Neapolitan crib and decorated state apartments. Other dates are December 12th, 18th and 19th. Tickets €20.

Anúna’s transcendental sound will transport you with its classics by candlelight session on Friday December 7th from 7pm at Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Ballsbridge; tickets start from €28.

On Fridays December 7th, 14th and 21st you can attend a traditional carol service at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum surrounded by the smell of peat fires, and you’ll get a sense of what the festive season was like fadó, fadó. Tickets from about €17.

At dusk on Sunday December 9th, the Kilkenny Choir Christmas Concert takes place at St John’s Church, tickets from €10, while that night Adolf Fredrik’s Chamber Choir from Stockholm will be singing in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, celebrating light in the winter darkness and heralding the arrival of Christmas with its Sankta Lucia programme, tickets €16.50.

On Thursday December 13th, singer Edel Murphy of Riverdance and Celtic Woman fame presents an enchanting evening of music in the Hunting Room at Palladian mansion, Castletown House, Celbridge, Co Kildare. Tickets from €5 to €20.

On Saturday December 15th you can enjoy a Viennese Christmas by Candlelight at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Tickets from €31. On the same night Mary Coughlan joins the 65-piece Suso Gospel Choir for a Christmas show at the Pepper Canister church, Tickets from €15.

On Sunday December 16th, Cantairí Avondale: A Choral Christmas is a seasonal selection of choral music also at The Pepper Canister. The performance will feature the premiere of A Christmas Childhood, a new work by Tom Lane and based on the poem by Patrick Kavanagh. Tickets for the two shows start from €16.50.

There are more carols by candlelight at St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny on Wednesday, December 19th, tickets from €22.50, or at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, where tickets for the matinee and evening shows start from €27.50.

You can worship the haunting voice of megastar Moya Brennan as she celebrates an Irish Christmas on Friday, December 21st in the intimate surroundings of Monkstown Parish church, tickets from €11.50.