Saturday 13 December 2008

Advent Carols by Candlelight

It is perishing cold.

Behind us an Archbishop waits for Eternity,
magnificent in his marble robes.
Around us the medieval splendour of the Cathedral:
columns, arches, gilding, fretwork.
For a moment this icy space is dark and silent
and the draught from the oak door
curls around our necks, freezing the warm skin.
Then the first candles are lit
and the light passes from one person to the next.
Two and a half thousand candles create a warm amber glow
and the voices of the choir rise
out of that light into the darkness.

There is a flower sprung of a tree
The root thereof is called Jesse
A flower of price:
There is none such in paradise.

This flower is fair and fresh of hue,
It fadeth never, but ever is new;
The blessed branch this flower on grew
Was Mary mild that bare Jesu;
A flower of grace:
Against all sorrow it is solace.

"There is a Flower" by John Rutter

Christmas has begun.


Mary said...

Beautiful beautiful and ever more beautiful...

Lynn said...

Speaking of perishing, I think I would do so on the spot if I were able to experience what you described. And if J. Rutter were there directing his glorious Singers (whose recordings I possess and adore), then I would be forced to wet my pants and THEN perish.

fifi said...

oh, dear Alice, just as I was embedding myself in the here, in the brightest of light,

and having crept on in, I am reminded that I am really in an upside down place, and those terrible wishings and yearnings return.

How beautiful. How I wish I was there, just for a minute even. But since I am not, I am sending you two large handfuls of the brightest sapphire light you can ever imagine, and you can add that to the candlelight for a moment.

driftwood said...


Ali said...

Yes, it is the real start of it. And your words gave me chills.

silverpebble said...

The hairs stand up on the back of my neck - carols in a church setting are filled with a mixture of joy and pathos for me - so evocative. Beautiful pictures too. Emma x

blackbird said...

What a lovely thing, this post.
It's made me feel Christmas-y for the first time this year.

Anonymous said...

Very poetic, this post.


kristina said...

I don't know what to say other than beautiful! K x

Gina said...

How beautiful.

Unknown said...

There is something so special and spiritual about the giving of light from one to another at a candle-lit carol service - with this Christmas is truly on its way