Well you'll be glad to know that the Heavenly Host came up to scratch on Friday! They sung their hearts out and presented the Nativity most resoundingly. I was/am really happy with them. The organist played with gusto and managed to cover up most excellently the children's and my glitches- I do really like working with him! The guitarist and flautist seemed to have fun too though they looked as wrung out as the organist and I felt. Wrung out and slightly hysterical actually...
The congregational hymns turned out rather antiphonally as one half of the church speeded up and overtook the organ, twice. Fanblinkintastic.
So school carols are done for another year.
And now I'm crouched over the laptop with You Tube and Bible Gateway sites open on several tabs, three hymn books, a Bible and a notebook open on the surrounding desk, trying to put together the Church Carol Service for next Sunday evening. I've lined up two soloists, the Sunday School teacher has wrestled the children into order for the Nativity, the Church is being decorated on Friday, so progress is being made. Now I've just to get the right hymns to go with each of the Nine Lessons.
I know its not everyone's opinion, but sometimes I feel that our Services have become so child-friendly and banal that we have lost the pure incredulity...incredibleness (??) of Christmas. Jesus isn't a doll dropped on its head and squashed into a toy cot face down, Jesus is God's Very Own Son. The children are important, and their understanding of the Christmas Story is essential, but there should still be space for amazement and respect and just good old-fashioned AWE. And children do love atmosphere and candlelight and favourite songs. Can I put 'magic' and 'Church' in the same sentence?
Well, that's my aim for next Sunday evening.