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Blog: Lo! He Abhors Not The Carol Service
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St Brides' is known as The Journalists' Church, as it is on FLEET STREET where the journalists used to be. I've been to a couple of events there before, and it's a) GORGEOUS inside but b) a little odd because the seating is sort of sponsored by news organisations, so there's a couple of seats with a "Daily Mirror" logo sticky-taped onto them, next to one for The Sunday People etc etc. It was RAMMED last night because the Carol Service is a Hot Ticket, and indeed it was GRATE.
I do like going to a Carol Service as it is CHRISTMASSY, but also because it brings back memories of all the other Carol Services I have been to over my life. The most emotional bit for me is ALWAYS during "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" when we sing the line "Lo! He abhors not the virgin's womb." EVERY time I sing that bit i ALWAYS think "What a stupid thing to sing" and EVERY time I am instantly transported back to me, aged 10, in St Mark's Church Peterborough singing that very line as part of a school Carol Service and thinking EXACTLY the same thing. And of course, once I'm reminded of that I'm reminded of my NAN being there, which in turn rapidly reminds me of ALL the people who used to be part of my Christmases but aren't with us anymore and... well, you get the idea. Getting A Bit Sad is very much a part of Christmas, especially a Grown-Up Christmas.
Mind you, so is MUCKING ABOUT, and there was an almost UNSEEMLY amount of this going on as myself and The Humans In My Congregation heartily NUDGED each other at INCIDENTS throughout. A lot of this went on during "Good King Wenceslas" when ONE member of our group was singing it PROPERLY, ACTUALLY, which certain OTHER members of the group thought was so HILARIOUS they they ended up giggling all over the place. Some people just don't appreciate proper singing. My favourite bit was when TV's Kate Silverton (for it was she) did a "Christmas Message" during which she said "Oh dear me, isn't it awful how Christmas Is Commercialised?" (ME: (sotto voce) NOT REALLY. NO.) and then the VICAR got up and said, directly after, "The choir have CDs for sale and please give us some money to mend the roof!"
So yes, it was a mixture of sadness, ROFLs, and, as in all church services, a continuing bafflement as to why Church Organists decide to play songs with Slightly Difficult Time Signatures when they have NO TIMING WOTSOEVER. I mean, The Organist Getting It Wrong is part OF the Church Service - if one ever got it right all the way through it would mean THE END TIMES, but why do they make it harder for themselves by choosing a song with an OFF-BEAT on it?
Having said that, their version of "Stop The Cavalry" was ACE.
Anyway, we left the Church feeling Quite Christmassy, a feeling only accentuated when we got back to Leytonstone and popped into The Red Lion, FESTOONED with Christmassy and supplying that most Christmassy of products: a lovely pint of beer!
posted 10/12/2013 by MJ Hibbett
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