Saturday, December 27, 2008

puer natus in Bethlehem

I've sung in church on Christmas Eve every year since 1990. This year, I went with Dear Daughter to the Children's Mass (5:30pm) at St James Cathedral, where she sings in the Schola Cantorum. The kids sounded great, although they were underutilized as the tenor soloist sang some of their bits, and I had the (uncommon - for me) experience of sitting through a Christmas Eve service as part of the congregation. It was lovely.

After the 5:30 Mass, we slowly drove from the Cathedral to St Catherine's. The roads were terrible - snow and slush and ice - and even with chains on it was a tricky drive. But both kids sing in the Children's Choir at St Catherine's, where they go to school, and that Christmas Eve Mass had started at 7pm. Dear Husband and Son were already there, and while I'd told the choir director that Dear Daughter would be late, I think I'd imagined we'd be there before the Offertory ended. Oh well. It was a tricky drive, and we did the best we could.

Then once Communion started at that Mass, I took off for Blessed Sacrament. I was the solo cantor for the 9pm Mass, along with a harp, cello & organ. We had planned some pretty cool music for Communion, although the cellist either fainted or had a seizure right before the Creed, which was scary. They took her over to the Priory and she was able to walk on her own, but I don't know how she's doing now. After that Mass was the rehearsal for the Carol Service, which started at 11pm, and then Midnight Mass. The choir was the best I've sung with at Blessed Sacrament, and it was all a lot of fun. Then I went home and made a cup of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps and whipped cream out of the can. Tasty. We have some Trader Joes "Sipping Chocolate" that's dark and not too sweet and really good. It was a just reward for my night's effort.

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