Candy canes, ’The Twelve Days of Christmas’, ‘Wise Guys from the East’, a prayer chain and a South African folk song!
Ingredients in the Triangle’s All-Age Carol Service on Sunday (21st December), interlaced with ancient songs dating back to the Middle Ages.
One of the best bits of this fun-filled service, led by Revd Hilary Howarth, was performing ’The Twelve Days of Christmas’.
Arriving at the Triangle, everyone was handed a number. As the song was performed, each singer stood up (or held up their number as it was reached), popping up piston-like from the congregation. Then came the surprise! As Hilary explained, there’s more to this traditional ‘nonsense song’ than meets the ear; the partridge represents Jesus Christ, the two turtle doves - the Old and New Testaments, three French hens - Faith, Hope and Love, and so on. Oh yes, there’s more than one way to praise God at Christmas!
“It’s hard to believe that the greatest message the world will ever know is contained in one simple scale”. The opening lines of a mini-video we were shown, ‘The Christmas Scale’, which tells the story of a boy’s reluctance to play a scale his mother shows him on the piano, and the great discovery he makes when he eventually finds the hidden tune and its message, ‘Joy to the World’.
On a slip of party paper we were invited to write a request to include in a Christmas prayer chain, licked and glued together by the children and stretched along the aisle for the Prayers of Intercession.
‘It’s pulled, twisted, bent....and sweet! Nothing says “Christmas” like candy canes!’ goes the commercial, and Hilary showed us the peppermint stick with a hook that became the symbol of those who watched over their flock that night.
“Wise Guys from the East”, adapted from the famous skit by Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro and John Goodman is the tale of the trio “not from the far east but from the east coast” who recount their journey to see the newborn Messiah. It was performed by three of our own craggy stars, Roger Taylor, Don Astley and Trevor Massey before the choir sang ‘Mayenziewe’, a beautiful lilting folk song from South Africa. Earlier they had sung the charming South Yorkshire carol, ‘Sweet Chiming Christmas Bells’ (While shepherds watched).
With the lighting of the Advent Ring, the Nativity Story retold in modern translations, and a congregation shoehorned into every available corner of the Triangle, this was a Carol Service to remember.
Carol Service 2014
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