Saturday, January 03, 2009


Waking at four to soundless dark ... well, not exactly. It was seven and the sky had whispers of light in it. Mustn't let my enthusiasm for Larkin obscure the facts. Fact is, I woke and found myself reviewing the past two weeks with the awful clarity that dawn brings - and this is what, unclouded by warm fuzzy feelings or distorted by immediacy, came out:

The miracle of our having decided to invite our eight-voice choir to join us for the carol service in a year when so many of the home-grown singers were under par - and the joy that so many people came to hear them on a day when several of our own congregation didn't.

The enjoyment of the church decorating day, including the therapy (for me) of polishing the silver.

The realisation that as far as I'm concerned Advent is more productive than Christmas - a variant on the travelling hopefully idea?

The disappointment that the nave lights were left on at the Midnight Mass. Despite the fact that we were all holding candles, the relentlessly bleak lights killed any magic for most of us in the pews, and I was distracted right up to the Peace by wondering if someone had just forgotten to put them off. Big mistake. Probably someone complained about darkness.

This last thought so irritated me that I got up well before it was light. I'm glad now, as it's a glorious morning and I may well go out. Feel better now ...


  1. I can't win with the nave lights.

    When I try to put them off, people say they want them on. When I put them on, people want them off.

    The first year I was here, they were off and it was 'too dark'. Last year I kept the santuary dark with candles only, but lit the congregation and no one complained. So I repeated that pattern this year.

    Perhaps some kind benefactor will offer us dimmer switches. Though nothing that happens with lights bothers me as much as the hellish glow of the heaters.

    For what it's worth: things also sometimes change because I get confused between churches, ask a couple of people 'what do we usually do?' get six different answers then choose whatever seems to work. Next year, you are welcome to get there early enough to feed into the lighting conversation.

  2. Touché! (Gosh - remembered how to do the accent) But for the record: we have them out on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning for greatest effect - and to conceal for once the dire state of the walls.

  3. It was indeed a beautiful morning, Chris. We were in Inverary by 10.30, in Brambles having coffee and fresh Rock Buns before making our way via packed lunch looking at Ben More, then Crianlarich, Luss and home by mid afternoon. Liked the photo of Loch Eck which we've still got to go walk round.

  4. Elf and safety often have harsh things to say about darkened churches and lit candles held by the inexperienced. I ignore them for the first verse of Once in Royal, then our lights take so long to heat up that the building is not fully lit until the fourth verse!

  5. Jim - maybe we'll bump into each other some day!