Sunday, December 09, 2012

Once in Royal David's City ...

An overdose of lessons and carols Friday and Saturday must be why I woke up this morning with "Once in Royal David's City" running through my head. Glanced sideways at the bedside clock, jumped out of bed, headed downstairs, made coffee, looked up at the kitchen clock --- 3:40. What? Too late to go back to bed. Should either have put on my glasses or looked that clock straight in the face, or both.

Anyhow, that carol --- which has opened the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols in the chapel at Kings College, Cambridge, since 1919 --- also opens our far more modest advent version at 4 p.m. today at St. Andrew's, Highway 14 North. All are welcome.

We do not have fan vaulting, vast expanses of stained glass, boy choristers --- or an altarpiece by Rubens. But you'll get the idea --- a quiet time-out from seasonal madness to just think about stuff for a while, enjoy the music and candlelight. And the glory of King James English, turfed out by many denominations in favor of pedestrian --- although considerably more accurate --- modern translations of biblical texts. 

This YouTube clip from the Kings College Chapel also shows what is considered to be the noblest stone ceiling anywhere in the world and the vast expanses of medieval stained glass --- also some of the finest in the world. You can access more about the chapel, including a virtual tour, by clicking here.


It's astonishing how quickly Advent is passing. We'll have a chance to catch our collective breath next Sunday, but Bishop Alan Scarfe, of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, will be with us on Sunday, Dec. 23. The bishop always confirms, so that rite will be incorporated into the service --- modestly (if only our single confirmand is involved); more extensively, if the five-member class from Grace Church is included. That's still up on the air. Lunch will follow.

Christmas Eve services begin early --- usually at 5 p.m. A soup supper, open to all, will follow that service.

Need to start cranking out service booklets --- and cooking --- now.

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