Thought for the Day

It isn’t every year that the St Mary’s Carol Service (7.30 pm on Thursday, don’t be late it gets busy) gets a mention on prime time Radio Scotland, but we did this year.

This morning’s Thought for the Day was being done by Dr Amanullah De Sondy who is going to be giving a reading from the Qur’an tomorrow evening as part of our Christmas celebrations. He mentioned that this morning in his Thought.

You can see the full text over on his blog:

Carol Service

The cathedral has now been decorated for Christmas and is looking lovely. The first of the Christmas services is the Nine Lessons and Carol Service which takes place on Thursday evening at 7.30 pm.

It is always something that I look forward to. The choir take centre stage for that service, though there is much for the congregation to join in with too.

Some churches had their carol services last Sunday but I’m glad we didn’t. There was a lot of competition (many of the big choirs and choral societies were also doing their thing) and I suspect that having it on Thursday this year will mean that there is a bumper crowd at St Mary’s.

Someone asked me what it was about and said, “Is it like the Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge?”. That question always makes me splutter. What we do is like it in that it has fabulous choral music. However it is unlike it in that our liturgy has not been pickled in aspic by the BBC and served up cold for 50 years. Ours changes and evolves and is never quite the same twice.

Last year I played around with the readings and introduced quite a bit of St Paul. (“All of God’s promises is a Yes!”)

We also sometimes have a non-biblical reading. Sometimes that has been poetry and I think a while ago, there were readings about contemporary Israel/Palestine.

This year I’ve asked a friend to come and read something from the Qu’ran for one of the nine lessons. We are surrounded by a local Muslim community here at St Mary’s. (Or maybe even several such communities). I think it will be good to be reminded that Christians are not the only people to honour the story of Jesus being born of Mary.

Anyway – it will be a stunning evening. Glorious music, beautiful church and carols for everyone. Kick off is 7.30 pm.