Boar's Head Procession - Hurstpierpoint College

Boar’s Head Procession

On Friday 2 December one of Hurst’s great, albeit unusual, traditions took place: the annual Boar’s Head Procession and Feast. Hurst’s first Headmaster, Canon Edward Lowe, adopted the custom from The Queen’s College, Oxford where wild boar were served from 1395. As wild boar became rarer and diets changed the college, like other institutions, decided to keep what had been a common occurrence and make it an annual tradition. 

All Senior School pupils gathered in Chapel for an abbreviated Advent service, after which all pupils and staff moved to their allocated positions around the campus. During the service, all lights had been switched off, and the only light visible was that of the waxing moon. 

When everyone had found their positions, the Chapel Choir started their procession, following a richly decorated Boar’s Head. Whilst they were processing across the campus, the choristers sang the Queen’s College Boar’s Head Carol: 

Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino
I carry the head of a boar
Rendering praises to the Lord 

After the procession, members of the choir, altar servers and Chapel technicians were invited to the Dining Hall for the annual Boar’s Head feast. It was an opportunity to thank them for all the hard work they have done, and are about to do, in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It was a lovely evening, with musical entertainment and performances much enjoyed by pupils and staff alike.