Sunday, 28 December 2008

Carol Service Recording

It seems like light years ago [only 10 days actually!] since we had our Annual Carol Service. This was another huge success, and thanks are due to all who took part - not just the singers, but those who prepared the church, lit all the candles and brought the wine & mince pies! The small church was packed with, we think, just over 100 people.

I've been asked if some of the music could be put online. I wasn't too sure about this at first, having fallen foul of my webspace provider's bandwidth restrictions before - BUT, I discovered that I had more space available courtesy of my cable tv provider which I've hardly ever used! So, if you want to hear the choral highlights of the service, just click here. The sound files work best in QuickTime, although they can also be played in RealPlayer, but the quality isn't anything like as good. Whatever source you use, don't try Media Player as it won't work with these mp4's encoded via Nero.

I hope everyone is enjoying a very joyful Christmastide. Plans for 2009 to follow, once they're set in stone and not just being discussed.... There are one or two very exciting services but I've been banned by the organisers from telling you who might be involved, so you'll just have to wait!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Compline by Candlelight

When we decide to do something, we don't compromise. :-) We even switched all the lights out before the service, our only concession to electricity was keeping the heating on!

Better images could have been obtained with a proper camera, but these pics from my phone will at least give you an idea.

Must be that time of year….

Arrangements have been made for the final rehearsals for our Annual Carol Service on the 18th. That can only mean that Christmas is coming. I’ve not even written any cards yet, so if you don’t receive any from me, consider this note as an apology in advance! Plans are already being made for Services well into 2009…

Between the Carol Service & Christmas itself, we have a Gregorian Chant Sung Mass for Advent IV at English Martyrs in York. As this is our only sung Mass this month, I’ve overloaded it with some personal favourites besides the Propers & Chant Mass for Advent - the Rorate Coeli, solemn Alma Redemptoris with its glorious incipit, the ‘O’ Antiphon of the day and rounding everything off with Veni Emmanuel. In this case you can have too much of a good thing!

I just wish more singers were available at Christmas though, rather than just before. It always seems to be to be a huge letdown service-wise. Even if we could just get an SATB quartet together, we could achieve so much. However, I know that most of our singers actively involved in church, will be scattered across the North of England at this time, myself included, as I’ve been ‘booked’ to sing a Chant Midnight Mass in the Extraordinary Form in a West Yorkshire Parish.

Besides Christmas, there is another HUGE event looming on the horizon, which has nothing to do with any of the above. A good friend, and occasional singer, when he’s not involved in his own church services is being ordained to the Priesthood in the Greek Orthodox Church in Leeds on 20th December. Please pray for Fr Deacon David on this very, very special day.

If you’re in York and free on the 18th or 21st December, please do come along to the Carol Service and/or the Mass and say hello!

Meanwhile, we continue to sing Compline every Friday at Bishophill. The ultimate aim is to sing the Office entirely by candlelight. I've just invested in more candles and candlesticks, so we're getting there, gradually... I hope to take some photos tonight, and if they come out ok, will post them here, so you can see what we're doing!