A different church and a different Christmass. Every church has their own traditions, the way they always do things, the way they decorate the church to welcome in the baby Jesus. This church gives a whole new meaning to ‘candlelight’. For there is dark wood panelling all the way around the church, about 6 foot high. And the top ledge of this panelling was made to hold tea-lights (which as everyone who trained in Tisec knows is the true meaning of good liturgy). I think there were about 80 in all. They more than made up for the fact that the crib scene only holds the most important characters (M, J & BJ with limp wrist) and any other bystanders are long gone. White and silver stars and baubles completed the scene. (Photos to follow when I can find a decent photographer.)
We had children galore at the Christingle service where we did the orange thing and then acted out the nativity with finger puppets. Thanks to all who brought grandchildren along.They didn’t think much of my homemade Christingle (banana with torch attached by brown parcel tape and 2 drawing pins) and had to tell me why it was wrong. Silly me.
Midnight Mass was really quite glorious with candles and carols and incense galore. I’d put the whole service in a wee bookie and that seemed to go down well with regulars and visitors. Numbers weren’t too bad considering the snow and ice. Oh, and the popping of corks to accompany the last hymn seemed to go down rather well too!
I’d been told that Christmass Day was to be a ‘family service’ and so I planned to have the children act out the story with actions. Of course only a few teenagers turned up who didn’t look like they really wanted to leap up and shout ‘Follow that Star’ every time I mentioned the Magi. But the grown-ups did and we had a most hilarious retelling of the story with a star (flashing his torch on the Christmass tree), Mary (rocking a baby and saying Awww), Joseph (with stick waving dangerously shouting Oh HOly Night), Shepherd (waving arms and cooing ‘C’mon sheep), 3 wise men (leaping up and yelling ‘Follow that Star’), Angel/angels (waving their wings and saying ‘Peace’), and a host of hee-haws, baas, moos and clucks. I think it worked terribly well. And the leaping up and down kept us warm as the heating had gone off.
St Stephen’s Day was quieter because I think people had forgotten it was Sunday and that they were meant to go to church. But a good few faithful souls came to sing Good King Wenceslas and hear all about stoned deacons.
Today I am going to have a day off. Maybe tomorrow too. I shall listen to 2 new Christmass cds (Annie Lennox’s A Christmas Cornucopia and Voices by the Benedectine Nuns of Notre Dame de l’Annunciation who won Nun Idol) and shall read lots.