Monday, 27 December 2010

Be Still

As if on cue, the snow is making a rapid exit with all the visiting relatives, food and excitement of Christmas day. We have escaped to the south coast and younger son has gone to visit friends - stopping off to surf on the way. The snow added a special magic to the celebrations. We were rather apprehensive about driving to church for the Midnight service as the temperature was dropping to minus 8 and the roads were like a skating rink. In other circumstances (before The Curate was a curate) I think we would have stayed at home but with The Curate taking the service, this was not an option. But the snow made it wonderful - deep and crisp and even to put it literally. I think The Curate learned a lot from this solo experience - about how lonely it can be out front - with no choir or readers. The church was pretty full, people had braved the ice and snow- many whom I did not recognise. The Curate found it hard going to get responses - and NEVER have sung responses if there are a lot of visitors and no choir to lead - painful!
I ended up going to the village hall service with The Curate on Christmas morning and there was a congregation of ten which made a very friendly, meaningful service. I really had all my preconceived ideas of a village hall service thrown out of the window and  enjoyed the experience. After the service, we stood and looked across the fields at the frost sparkling on the snow in the sunshine - it was beautiful. 
And so, both The Curate and I enjoyed this Christmas. I managed to crack my apprehension of reading in church and I feel that I am able to take part more in church life. Perhaps knowing that we will probably be somewhere else next Christmas, and that we will be living in one place and living a life centred on the Church, is strangely reassuring.
Our eldest son joined us for lunch ( thanks to the laptop and Skype) and we were able to talk and share the sight (but not the taste) of our Christmas pudding with his Australian girlfriend.We were able to show them the sun and snow outside and they were able to show us the rain in Paradise Waters.

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