was extremely full and busy, but pretty good on the whole. Heavy frost did not deter the intrepid 8.00 congregation - bizarrely, numbers were actually up appreciably, perhaps because those parishioners who will be away for Christmas wanted to touch base with their church family before they depart.The sermon went down better than I'd feared at 10.00. Somehow I felt paralysed by the wonderful passages set for the day, which seemed in themselves to say all I might want to, rather better than I could hope to...so that my best efforts seemed doomed from the outset, even with a little help from my friends - but it all felt much better from the pulpit than on the final read-through in the study.
Busy afternoon of domestic Christmas preps, Evensong and then time for carol singing with the youth group and a good proportion of the choir too. Never been, so cold, honestly, but the singing was good (and our first carols of the year, which made it extra real) and it all looked look very beautiful, with a heavy frost sparkling on the ground, mirroring the stars twinkling above us.
I was specially pleased to sing for a neighbour who is dealing with renal failure with grace and style (when I last visited her, she had just finished decorating for Christmas and insisted on opening a bottle of pink fizz in honour of this). It really matters to be able to take little bits of Christmas to people, I'm certain.
In a little over an hour, we raised £76 for the Children's Society before admitting defeat and returning here to wine nobly mulled by Longsuffering Clockmaker (who is a bit of a domestic god on a good day :-) ) and as much hot food as we could muster...
Our tree stands waiting in Advent mode, lit but undecorated (since we need Hattie G home before that can be thought of), the candle bridges were alight and seeing our sitting room full of people I'm fond of, it was easy to believe that Christmas will soon be here, bringing with it the promise of light shining in our darkness.