Advent in the Vicarage is not complete without Christmas music. The Vicar has banned me from listening to my favourite Christmas cds apart from during this season after rather overwhelming overuse of one of them in the early years of our marriage. So about this time of year I get quite excited about digging through the cd collection to rediscover Christmas Now is Drawing Near by Sneak’s Noyse, a collection of English folk carols that I love. It’s pretty obscure – I first heard it cos my dad had it (and have no idea why he bought it) – and there are no YouTube videos. So imagine a more folky version of this song, and you’ll get the idea:
Another Advent listening favourite is Andrew Peterson’s wonderful album Behold the Lamb (which includes our favourite Matthew’s Begats). Here are a couple of other songs from the album for you to sample:
Of course, we have Carols from Kings type cds too and a mad Celtic instrumental one. This year the Queen and the Joker are joining me in the church Christmas carol service choir, so we are singing in Thursday evening practices too. Christmas music – just the thing to lift our spirits on dull December days (and a stressy November day too) and point us to the joy and wonder of the incarnation.
What will you be serving at your festive services this Christmas? I have just taken delivery of a bulk purchase for our church – ten 2 litre vacuum jugs. This is so we can serve Spiced Cranapple, a non-boozy mulled wine, after our carol service and after the Christmas Cracker service on Christmas Eve. With the jugs I’ll be able to mull the spices into the drink at home first and then take the hot beverage over to the church next door. We will also be providing mince pies, of course. And tea and coffee and biscuits too, for those not so keen on the festive delights. For the school carol service this morning I have two large choccie cakes with star sprinkles and some festive iced biscuits made with mixed spice.
What about you. Do you serve alcohol or not? With alcoholism and its attendant evils an ever-present problem in our parish, serving alcohol in church is something we tend to avoid. Do you mass cater with Asda mince pies or ask folk to bring their own, whether homemade or not? Time for a bit of sharing. I’ll close this poll at the weekend – I think we should all have our catering plans fixed by then.