Sunday, December 16, 2012

Unitarian Carol Service

I sang tonight in the choir for the Octagon's candlelit carol service.  It was really lovely, and similar in feeling to a Christmas Eve service you'd expect from a Protestant church in the States.  The entire service was lit only by lit candles for the congregation and small reading lights for readers and singers.   The choir would sing an anthem, there would be a reading, there would be a congregational hymn, repeat.  It was quite delightful.  The Unitarian bit: readings included not only the story of Jesus' birth, but reflections on the winter solstice and other "pagan" rituals that have become part of Yuletide, how the hymns we sang weren't necessarily meant to be literal truths, and our closing hymn was "Good King Wenceslas" rather than the "Silent Night" that would traditionally finish off an explicitly Christian Christmas carol service.  And, rather than departing in silence or wishing everyone a "Merry Christmas" and heading off, we turned the lights back on and had mince pies and sherry together.  It was very English.  And very lovely.  :)

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