Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tradition and glorious music... Westminster Cathedral, with the annual Carol Service. Magnificent. As the choir sang  "Away in a manger" and  "L'Adieu des bergers" I sat letting it all soak in...and my gaze went up into the great sky-like darkness of the rounded domes, and those huge cavernous galleries, vast and bleak above us on this winter's evening, contrasting with the glowing light and comfortably packed congregation below....I remembered that the Cathedral was built on the site of a prison in what was for many years a rather grim corner of Westminster, in an impoverished loop of the Thames out beyond the old horse-ferry.  Was suddenly visited by the thought of grim times to come, and facing possible imprisonment for the Faith. Dismissed the thought, but it wouldn't go away. Suppose we are told that  pronouncing some of the Church's basic moral teachings conflicts with socially-acceptable norms and is to be criminalised? How do such things start? Perhaps with some one being dismissed from his job for opposing ame-sex marriage? Something like that?

Afterwards, a cheery gathering over mulled wine and mince-pies in the Cathedral Hall, familiar to me from many a meeting and social gathering, and of course from the annual Towards Advent Festival. Lots and lots of people, lots of talk and noise, mulled wine being ladled out into good-sized vessels.

Afterwards, chat continued in the piazza, the big Papal flag and our country's Union Jack flapping lazily and damply in the December breeze as we exchanged Christmas greetings...

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