Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas 2014

The Christmas services at St James, Sydney are always special. I've enjoyed many midnight eucharists there on the 24th of December, and services of 9 lessons and carols.

It is the start of the services that I find particularly transporting. A solo treble singing "Once in Royal David's City", then joined by the choir as it processes up the nave to the choir stalls.

This year I won't be able to join these services, but I was happy to see a truncated version of lessons and carols yesterday (17 December).

The music was wonderful, but only because it was music about God with us: Immanuel, as he took on human form to bring us to eternal fellowship with him.

Bach's Wachet auf and Brahms' Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen were the prelude, then the processional hymn as above.

I enjoyed the pace and majesty of the service, its reminders of past joys at similar services and always, the celebration of Christ with us.

The penultimate paragraph from the Bidding prayer is memorable:

Finally, let us remember that whole multitude which no one can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom, in Jesus Christ, we are one in eternity.
We ended with the magnificent Hark the Herald Angels Sing with the order of service containing the wish for "a blessed Christmas".

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