Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Carols. More of.

Young Farmers' Carol Service tonight - the County service held in St Michael's at Chirbury, because this year our very own Chirbury and Marton's Huw Thomas is County Chairman. With the office comes responsibility and the onus for organising Shropshire events in 2010. Tonight was the first.

Well. It was a bit like the Pantomime without the beer, but with a bishop and carols. I hope that doesn't sound too trite - because it was far from that. The Church was packed with young people from across Shropshire and many of us locals too in support of our local group.

A young woman from Brown Clee YFC opened the service, singing the first verse of "Once in Royal David's City', unaccompanied, from the back of the Church - her bright clear voice soaring confidently into the rafters. This solo piece, in a hushed and expectant church, always and without fail will send a shiver of something or other down my spine.

Then enter Lynn on the mighty organ and the congregation joins in with gusto for the rest of the carol. An opening prayer by the Bishop and we're off - a medley of poetry, music, sketches and song interspersed with the odd carol to make sure we all get to our feet occasionaly. No chance we'll fall asleep though - these young people tell the familiar Christmas story in their own way, injecting wit and humour and unexpected talents. Each group in the County has contributed a piece. There may be the odd gaff and pratt-fall along the way - but hey! they're amongst friends - it doesn't matter. We laugh, we sigh, we strain to hear some of the softer or more garbled voices. No matter, it is good.

The three kings finally arrive bearing gifts, heads swathed in their girlfriends' pashminas and wearing - was it curtains or dressing gowns? 3 strong solo voices sing the words of Melchior, Caspar and of Balthazar, whose doom-laden words are portentious:
'Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.'
Clun Valley YFC brought 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas' into the traditional mix - and were this the Pantomime Competition I have no doubt they would have won the cup. Four confidant voices accompanied by Wayne on that most curious of instruments, the piano accordian.

But of course, it was not about being 'better' and winning anything tonight. It was about being there amongst friends, being part of a community, celebrating and taking part. It was all of that. With a Bishop and Carols. And mulled wine.

Well done them.

Me? I'm all carolled up.


her at home said...

Oh I do miss Carols, your service soudns jsut right! it reminded me of somethgin I had totally forgotten, that oen year when I was a student at Chichester we did the miracle play of the nativity in the Cathedral and I laughed so much I had to lie down on the cold floor in one of the side chapels to clam myself down between appearances! The miracle plays always seem to me as if they were written for performance by Young Farmers and thier jovial ilk!

Pondside said...

I wish I could have seen and heard that! We're off to an Anglican church on Saturday with the children for a pageant and carol service. Unfortunately, our church doesn't do choirs any more, so we're looking forward to some lovely old-fashioned carols, soaring organ music etc etc. It doesn't get much better than that at Christmas.

elizabethm said...

it sounds wonderful. Just the kind of thing I like. We always have a dispute as Ian is a staunch non believer and doesn't think he should go for the singing. I am a wishy washy not sure sort of person and quite happy to have my culture wash over me and be there in my community - problems, problems. This sounds a mite warmer than your previous post!

Friko said...

wonderful, the many carol services and concerts at this time of year; we had one in the open air, to celebrate switching on he christmas lights. I really enjoy the old-fashioned christmas we are privileged to experience here in the Marches. Particularly when Jack from the White Horse comes out and hands round glasses of hot mulled wine!

Merry christmas, mountainear

Frances said...

Something so very true in that carol service. How wonderful that all those attending really did give gentle encouragement to all involved. Somehow, that is what I want to feel at Christmastime. That somehow a message has been sent that we are all in this together. And we can help each other along the trail.

You know, I meant to write a different comment, but just got swept along on a stream of c.


Pam said...

Sounds lovely but much as I'd like to I'm not going to church here to celebrate Christmas. We'll sing some carols at home and be good to all men.

Fennie said...

Sounds great. I think I would have been at home there. What a wonderful phrase 'pratt-fall!' Must remember that.

Elizabethd said...

Sounds lovely, and just points again to what we miss here, although our Anglican church will be having a service this sunday with Carols. Somehow its not quite the same as 'at home'.

Wipso said...

Sounds like a fab evening was had by all. How wonderful. Hope you and your have a great Christmas and a happy healthy New Year.
A x

Cait O'Connor said...

Christmas I am not a huge fan of but carols I love.

Kari L√łnning said...

Your words warm me and make me giggle and remind me of a bigger life, one away from the bustle and energy of our faux country living an hour north of NY city. I'm glad that this outing sounds a bit drier than the previous carroling. (I almost "tagged" you on my blog, but I was shy about asking ...)

Pedro Garcia Millan said...



Pedro Garcia Millan said...