Candlelight and darkness. Music, words, silence. The Advent Carol Service at Holy Trinity was filled with a real sense of expectation - the advent expectation that is so distinct from the celebration of Christmas. Such was the matching of readings to readers, such the mystery of the music which is God's highway, that the listeners seemed to have stopped breathing. Even the dog lying at the feet of its owner - someone who hadn't even known the service was to happen, who had been spirited in, dog and all, at the end of an afternoon walk - made no sound. As Merton's words had it, intellects ...quieter than the flocks that feed by starlight.
And at the end, how joyful we all seemed, greeting one another at the back of the church over mulled wine and mince pies! We do things in style on our damp hill - and at moments such as these, our poverty matters not a bit. We are wealthy beyond reason.