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A Weekend of Carols


I doubt many churches will be leaving their carol services until next weekend so there have been a lot going on this weekend. I’ve had two so far and another one to come tomorrow.

Yesterday was the Diocesan Global Carol Service, hosted at All Saints with Holy Trinity in town. The diocese has a strong strand of intercultural worship, which I hooked into with an event I attended earlier this year. Kev and I joined the worship team for the service and supported songs in languages including Farsi (Iran), Igbo (Nigeria) and more. I also gleaned a lot from Bishop Martyn’s address, particularly the idea of scratch nativities, where you avoid the arguments about who plays the key roles by inviting everyone to come along and act to whichever role they fancy, even if it ends up with three Josephs and four Marys.

Tonight was at our own church. My particular roles were leading the singing of the carols (organ accompaniment and no choir this year, so that part was mainly to give the congregation a clear cue on when to start singing themselves) and leading the intercessions. I was very happy with how my reading team did, who brought the idea I had of splitting each narrative between a couple of readers representing key roles (eg, Mary and the angel, Joseph and the angel, Mary and Joseph, etc). I think it worked well to present familiar readings but in a fresh way.

Tomorrow is probably the easiest of the three for me. I’m playing with the Charnwood Symphonic Wind Orchestra before and after the mayor’s carol service (back at All Saints in town again) as well as supporting some of the carols in the event. For that one I just have to sit on the back row and play the basslines as shown by the music (although, to be fair, that only seems easy because I’ve been building those reading skills for the last couple of years).

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