Advent 4 is where Christmas really kicks off, whether it is supposed to or not. The morning service was fairly quiet, although we helped out the Vestry group with their Christmas play by singing ‘There’s no place like home’ in the appropriate place, as well as singing the Communion Anthem, ‘The Angel Gabriel’ (Basque Carol).
But the ‘biggie’ was the ‘Lessons and Carols’ service in the evening – the usual carols plus choir items: ‘Ding Dong merrily on High’ (arr. Wilberg), ‘A Maiden most gentle’ (arr. Carter), ‘In the bleak midwinter’ (Darke), ‘Silent Night’ (arr. Sweeney), ‘And the glory of the Lord’ (Handel), ‘I saw three Ships’ (Rutter). We had great fun trying to get our syncopated dongs in the right place during ‘Ding Dong’ and whistling (as instructed by Rutter) in ‘Three Ships’. The choir were well lit by our new candle stands, which fortunately stayed upright despite fears by the more nervous choir members.
We had just about enough voice left to sing Christmas Eve carols up at the hospital, well washed down by a very tasty Fruit Punch.