Saturday, December 25, 2010

hark the herald angels sing


I went for a midnight mass here. Funny isn't it, how I only got around to doing this after four years... (it's actually my second Christmas up north here.) I went with my camera in hand. It was packed!

it doesn't look packed in this picture, but the bulk of attendees had left by then
So I snooped around for a seat and found one spot on the bench, which has the obstructive view of a pillar. Ah, it was either an obstruction of sights, or an obstruction of concentration, and I chose the former. Plus I was way too unmotivated - not to go in the first place, but to change seats.

The sermon referred a contemporary tendency to celebrate Christmas the consumptive way, with people struggling to pay off their bills because they have overspent on their Christmas celebrations. Like new clothes, excessive food, gesture-gift toys. And he mentioned a few ironic catchphrases like "happy X-mas" [read: ex-mas] and "the glory of God on the high-street". (Well when one listens to spoken words one can't always work out what the proper lettering is like, that's my stance.)

Another thing that I learned was there was this carved wooden platform/balcony where the preacher stood. I saw two of them in the Cathedral in Jakarta, but never really knew what it was for because I had never seen anyone use them. When I was a kid, I used to think that they would be used for people who would then be 'enraptured' to the skies. Really.

organ here, and somehow in the far right you can see that platform balcony wooden thing
Anyhow, needless to say I enjoyed the service very much, plenty of singing and phone-ignoring and geeky photographing after all was done. I had the pleasure of company of a dear old English man (in the they-exist-in-picturebooks sense), in a camel wool coat and wearing a tweed suit, as Next-Sitter-on-the-Pew who said some kind words about my singing. You're welcome to speculate on what he says and what he originally meant to express, but I'm not even going to read into what he said... I'll just take it as a compliment ;))

the recently restored gilding
Facts about St Martin-in-the-Fields:
It's the Royal church (huh?) and church of the homeless (also 'huh')
It was recently reopened after a lengthy refurbishment
It has a crypt!It's 10 minutes' walk away from mine.

Have a happy and joyous Christmas everyone.

1 comment:

johnorford said...

happy xyz-mas! ; )