Saturday, December 20, 2003


The choir practiced this morning. Our Lessons and Carols is tomorrow evening.

Because tomorrow is Advent 4 Sunday, folk were decorating the church. There will be more of this tomorrow after the service, this time by the parish, followed by a chili lunch.

Anyway, towards the end of rehearsal, we gathered in the back of the church to prepare for Once In Royal David's City. Several choristers sang the first verse each alone, in audition. Dr. Messina will pick one of them tomorrow night. The church will be lit by candles, and after this child will sing, the choir will sing the second verse, also without instrument. Then the organ will kick in and the procession will begin on the third verse.

The poor kids. Their pitch always goes sharp on this song and I'm told that it is an inherent problem in the piece. Throw in a little nervousness tomorrow night and it is even more likely to happen.

Regardless, they have such sweet sounds. This year, all the kids that sang the solo verse were girls. What a simple way to begin telling the story.

Once in royal David's city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor, the scorned, the lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.
Words: Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1848
Music: Irby (Henry John Gauntlett, 1805-1876)

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