Service of lessons and carols is a time for reflection

All Saints’ Anglican Church welcomes all to annual pre-Christmas service on Dec. 17

  • Dec. 10, 2017 7:30 a.m.

Michael Robinson

For The Morning Star

One of my most abiding childhood memories of the Christmas season is the Anglican service of lessons and carols that was held every year in the 11th century church in the English village where I attended school.

As a small boy, I did not know that the evening service had a tradition dating back to 1880 and that it was made world famous by King’s College, Cambridge.

What I loved was the smell and warmth of my mother’s fur coat as I sat beside her on the wooden pew and the wonderful knowledge that the service marked the beginning of the school holidays. I can close my eyes and see the packed church ablaze in yellow candlelight, the wax pooling at the top of each candle and then, later in the service, bursting its bonds and running down walls and columns until the cold stone forced it to solidify.

As the congregation stood, I can recall pangs of jealousy as a boy about my age sang the opening verse of Once in Royal David’s City, his shrill voice heralding the start of the journey we were about to embark on. I can half remember poetic prophesies being read with posh, Oxford accents, but can clearly recollect the story of the Virgin birth aptly recounted with a lovely rural intonation.

Decades later, I am grateful to be able to attend and participate in this very special service of lessons and carols at All Saints’ Anglican Church, right here in Vernon. Although we do not have boy choristers and are not able to let candles burn unattended in every nook and cranny, the sense of mystery that exudes from the telling of the ancient story in songs and readings from the Bible is very much the same as I remember as a young child.

As it is often held several days in advance of Dec. 25, the service of lessons and carols allows the congregation to reflect, to meditate and experience, without distraction, the deep and universal yearning for reconciliation, healing and peace that is at the heart of the Christmas message. I’m sure that even the most determined members of “the keep Christ in Christmas” crowd find it challenging to attend a Christmas Eve service without visions of turkey cooking times and still-to-be-wrapped presents stomping around in the head.

If you are not a church goer, but miss singing carols, this is your chance to give free rein to your voice. For music lovers there is the opportunity to hear some beautiful new anthems sung by the All Saints’ choir under the skillful directorship of Marge Close and Molly Boyd. The service of lessons and carols is a gift that we, Anglicans, have received and would love to share with you with absolutely no expectations.

Please join us at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 17 at All Saints’ Anglican Church at 3205-27th St., Vernon (parking lot entrance is on 26th Street).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alumni trumpet band strikes emotional chord for Vernon girls

Vernon Girls Trumpet Band will be tooting their horn for the 60th Winter Carnival parade

LETTER: Dog dirt – hefty fines suggested

Vernon might solve poop problem by implementing hefty fines like the U.K.

Rent in Vernon jumps 4.2 per cent in 2019

The increase is in line with province-wide market trends, according to CMHC figures

Kal Rotary donates $30,000 to Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation

This donation will go to help fund a state-of-the-art surgical lighting system

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

‘I was alone’: B.C. woman warns others after robber attempts to force her to ATM

Manj Sidhu-Gill was alone in a parking lot on Jan. 15, when a man approached dressed in all black

‘Latte-sipping urbanites’ need to realize value of mining in B.C., association head says

Industry generates a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service across the province

Morning Start: Chinese New Year, Year of the Metal Rat

Your morning start for Friday, Jan. 24

Trans-Canada to close at 11 a.m. for avalanche work

The highway will be closed until 2 p.m.

‘Green’ solution for excessive cannabis packaging a hit with Okanagan consumers

Tweed/Terracycle recycling program for cannabis products well-used, well-received by consumers.

Health upgrades in South Okanagan and Similkameen forecast to cost nearly $10 million

Capital projects include CT scanner, medical vacuum system, ultrasounds and more

PET OF THE WEEK: Fern needs a playing buddy

Cat at Critteraid in Summerland searching for a forever home

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

Most Read