Random thoughts from Pencefn

…. an engineer, singer and photographer living in Scotland

Advent 4 2009 – Southwark Cathedral Carol Service

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Advent 4 saw a return Southwark Cathedral.

However before embarking on the events at Southwark, I have to acknowledge what was happening at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow which I missed for the first time in around 20 years. Firstly Kelvin set up his Video Camera and has posted the time lapse video on YouTube of the erection of the Christmas Trees and lights.

It was a challenge to identify those of my friends in the video working hard decorating the screen, chancel and sanctuary.

Harry meanwhile has given a short report of the evening Carol Service. Frikki’s Icelandic roots means that the carol from his home nation is always a treat to behold.

Weather willing I will get my traditional pictures of the lighting with star burst filter after the Midnight Mass.

Christmas Tree at the High Altar of Southwark Cathedral

Christmas Tree at the High Altar of Southwark Cathedral (20 December 2009)

Anyway back to Southwark Cathedral. Morning Eucharist was presided over by Canon Treasurer – Canon Robert Titley and the Preacher was The Succentor – Anna Macham. At the notices before the service, The Dean, intimated that anyone attending the Carol Services should come early to get a seat.

Anna started her sermon with a joke:

Two days before Christmas over breakfast a wife said to her husband – “I had a dream last night. I dreamt I was going to receive a silver necklace for Christmas”. Her husband replied – “You will find out at Christmas”.

The following morning over breakfast she said – “I had that dream again. What can it mean?”. Her husband replied – “All will be revealed tomorrow”.

Christmas morning came and she said – “I had that dream yet again”. Her husband replied by giving her a present which she opened eagerly. It was a book by Sigmun Freud – The Meaning of Dreams

After the service, we had lunch in the Cathedral Refectory. Returning in the evening, we had taken heed of The Dean’s comment to arrive early for a seat. Arriving at around 17:50, there was a queue outside the south-east door. The nave was already full and we were directed to the south transept, which was almost full.

Being a traditional service of lessons and carol, the music and readings were:

  • O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • Bidding from The Dean
  • Adam lay y-bounden (Warlock)
  • 1st Lesson – Isaiah 11. 1-10 – Isaiah prophesies the coming of the Messiah
  • God rest you merry gentlemen
  • A tender shoot (Otto Goldschmidt)
  • 2nd Lesson – Matthew 1. 18-25 – The annunciation to Joseph
  • Sans day carol (arr. John Rutter)
  • Ding dong! merrily on high (arr. Charles Wood)
  • While Shepherds watched their flocks by night
  • 3rd Lesson – Matthew 2. 1-12 – Wise Men visit the child Jesus
  • The three Kings (Cornelius)
  • 4th Lesson – Matthew 2. 13-15 – A child is born into a dangerous world
  • What sweeter music (John Rutter)
  • Unto us a boy is born!
  • Away in a manger (arr. Philip Moore)
  • 5th Lesson – Matthew 2. 16-18 – The slaughter of the innocents
  • Illuminare Jerusalen (Judith Weir)
  • Silent Night! Holy Night!
  • 6th Lesson – Matthew 2. 19-23 – The Holy Family return to Israel
  • Sussex Carol (arr. Philip Ledger)
  • 7th Lesson – John 1. 1-14 – Themystery of the incarnation is unfolded by John
  • Hark the Herald Angels sing
  • The Collect and Blessing by the Bishop of Southwark
  • O Come, all ye faithful

After the service we spoke to the Head Verger as he was extinguishing the candles in the Choir Stalls. The estimated attendance was around 2,000. An expected congregation of 1,700 is expected for the Tuesday evening repeat – so if you are reading this before the service and considering going, get there early for a seat.

This will be my last posting about Southwark Cathedral in 2009, so I conclude with a picture I took of the east end after the service before heading for the tube.

Floodlit East End of Southwark Cathedral

Floodlit East End of Southwark Cathedral (20 December 2009)

Author: Stewart

An instrumentation engineer who enjoys photography and singing. Working in the West of Scotland; a member of St Mary's Cathedral Glasgow and Southwark Cathedral; and a volunteer guard/signalman on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.

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