My father played the church organ and our lives revolved around the celebrations of the church.
|My village church: All Saints, Ringsfield|
None was more wonderful to me than the carol service on Christmas Eve. My father usually left early and my mother, brother, sister and I would walk down to the church later. The fields and hedgerows were overlayed by snow and the trees glowed with frost. The sky was a star speckled cloak of deepest indigo. When we reached the main road we joined up with other people from the village. It was companionable, friendly greetings and kind words.
Once through the church gate we would fall silent. The great oak door stood open, light streaming around our dear vicar welcoming us with open arms. His white surplice billowed into wings just like an angel. Inside, the church was lit solely by candles giving everything a golden glow. Up by the pulpit stood a Christmas tree reaching into the wooden rafters. It too was lit by real candles.
The vicar began the service, "Dearly Beloved..." One by one the men and women from the village: farmers, railway men, road workers, the blacksmith, came to the lectern and read the lessons. Hands thickened by hard work and sharp weather turned the gold trimmed pages. Each lesson followed by a familiar carol. My favourite was "O Little Town Of Bethlehem"
little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
met in thee tonight
I was a little girl beset by fears but in that church on Christmas Eve I was at peace. Dearly beloved, surrounded by good, kind people, I could believe a brilliant star shone high above the church.
Merry Christmas Everyone
This is my entry into Gardens Eye View, Seasonal Celebration. Join in or go to Donna's site for some seasonal joy.