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St Thomas’s Carol Service, 2012

posted 5 Feb 2013, 10:17 by St. Thomas' Church Aboyne   [ updated 5 Feb 2013, 10:17 ]

The snow came early but it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the extended choir who came regularly to choir practice, very often to a cold Church, to prepare some memorable carols for the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols held in St. Thomas's Church on Sunday 16th December.  Outstanding were Sheila Maxwell's carol 'Immortal Babe' with words by 17th Century Bishop Hall, sung unaccompanied, and in contrast, John Rutter's jazzy syncopation of 'Jesus Child'.

The conductor, Marcus Marsh, along with Sheila Maxwell the organist, seem to work in tandem, summoning up the spirit of each carol, which they then transferred to the choir, so each carol has its own character in the singing of it. There are good voices in the choir in all sections, making lovely harmonious sounds.

Apart from the five carols sung by the choir, there were readings of the Lessons by members of St. Thomas's Church and members of all the other Aboyne Churches. Particularly notable contributions were the 2nd Reading, where Abraham offers his son to be sacrificed, read by Sarah Wright, and the 9th Reading, that wonderful passage from St John’s Gospel, chapter one, read by Geoff Cormack.

The congregation also played a large part of the Service, joining in with gusto to the carols such as 'Once in Royal David's City', 'The First Nowell' and 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' - all known since childhood and very much part of the Christmas spirit.

The Prayer and the Blessing were conducted by the Rector, James Curry, who also joined the extended choir for the first time.   Refreshments, ably organised by Jo Elson and her helpers, were provided afterwards to the 100 strong congregation who, as they left, felt Christmas had begun.