Friday, 21 December 2007


Tonight I accompanied several parishioners (including Cally's Kitchen) to the London Oratory for the annual Christmas Carol Service and Solemn Benediction. I used to go along regularly as a seminarian, when I had normally just returned from Rome. It was delightful to step back from the busy parish schedule and immerse oneself in the traditional music and readings of the Season.

My favourite moment must have been four members of the Junior Choir (representing the angels) singing Quem pastores from the choir loft, answered from the body of the church by the Shepherds (the main choir) singing Nunc angelorum gloria. This was following an old German custom (Quempas) of alternating the verses of the two carols.

Benediction was as splendid as ever, the monstrance placed on the throne high above the altar, as the choir sang (amongst other things) Peter Cornelius' The Three Kings. The church was packed and, by the end, my heart was sufficiently full of Christmas cheer not to be bothered by some of the noisy toddlers running around the side aisles!

Some years ago the Oratory Choirs produced an excellent CD of Christmas music, though I'm not sure how available it now is.



Anonymous Nick Jones said...

Noisey toddlers at the Oratory! I love the liturgy there but it does need more toddlers, just to remind us of the Holy Incarnation.

7:14 pm  
Blogger Fr PF said...

Nick, One of the consequences of being a pro-life church is the acceptance of noisy toddlers.

9:33 am  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

As I wrote this post, I knew I would be picked up on that comment about toddlers. It was meant in jest! I would much rather have toddlers in church than not - although it is irritating when parents/guardians do nothing to control persistently noisy children, especially during the Eucharistic Prayer.

9:38 am  

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