Syncretism

Sunday, 25 December 2005 23:21
strange_complex: (Lord S not unenlightened)
Yesterday evening, I went with my family to a carol-singing gathering on Bournville Village Green, led by a local church called St. Francis'. (Full write-up of last year's equivalent event here). We met up with Fleur WINOLJ and her mum, and the six of us stood together in the crowd, giggling as we attempted to sing along to the accompaniment of a carillon which we could only just hear, and which sometimes played faster than we were expecting, and sometimes slower.

Then Silent Night came up. Somehow, no-one was singing out of time any more. The melody was slow and simple, and the singing was suffused with a kind of reverent hush. For the second verse, the carol-sheet instructed us all to raise the lanterns we had brought. And so we did. Everything from candles in jam-jars to battery-powered camping lamps appeared above warmly-hatted heads. And we sang:

"Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light:
Radiance beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace..."
Etc., etc.

Afterwards, we lowered our lanterns back down into the crowd. "See?" I said to Fleur. "The sun will come again."

"Change the spelling a bit," she said, "and the Christians would agree with you."

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

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