Lovely evening last night

Well, it was a lovely evening last night. I had not been sure how large the choir would be, but there were going on 50 of them by the time they had all processed around the Cathedral and into their stalls. We were doing special festive manoeuvres last night and singing whilst walking. This is something that only happens very rarely in St Mary’s – the usual routine is to process in, bow and sing the hymn.

The choir sang wonderfully last night but it was not just they who were in fine voice. The congregation were up for it too. We were almost full up and everyone seemed to be enjoying the shear pleasure of opening one’s voice in a big crowd. I think it was the best congregational singing I’ve heard at a Carol Service.

All the readers read well and I’ve been struck by the number of people who have spoken to me or posted on facebook, about how moved they were to hear an Islamic perspective on Jesus being born to Mary which came from a reading from the Qur’an. That was a moment of the kind of intense listening and attention paying that is as much a characteristic of worship here as the glorious music.

My thanks to everyone who made it such a thrilling evening. Particularly to the musicians and especially to the Director of Music, Frikki Walker and to Geoff Woollatt on the organ.

How very much more exciting it was than a certain other Nine Lessons and Carols which seems to get a lot of airplay.


  1. Elizabeth says

    Sounds like a wonderful evening. Was any of it recorded for the listening pleasure of those unable to attend?

  2. Yes! – the music was recorded and is available on CD.

    See here:

    (We cheated and pre-recorded the music earlier in the year, but essentially, the bulk of the music last night is on the CD).

  3. Harry Monroe says

    I was at that St Mary’s Nine Lessons and Carols service on Thursday, and am currently watching the Cambridge service. Both wonderful performances and the marvellous affirmative message of hope came through equally.

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