Monday, 19 December 2016

Quirinius

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
 
Hello, thank you for dropping in.  It's a busy time, isn't it?  There is so much to do in this last week before Christmas.  I have found it difficult to get into the festive mood, for several reasons.  I think it's partly because we have a number of family birthdays in December, the last one falling today, and so I could never feel ready to fully concentrate on Christmas until the birthdays had been marked.  It's also because a few years ago, the Best Beloved told me that he hates Christmas and that his favourite day of the whole year is Boxing Day because it means that there are 364 days to go until Christmas!  This news was like a dagger through my heart because, you see, I loved Christmas: the music, the lights, the bustle in the high street, the festive television programmes and theatre visits, the carol services, nativity plays, the decorations, the all-round jollity.  So now I tread on eggshells around him for the whole of December, not talking about the choosing of gifts or the writing of cards, wrapping while he is out, going to carol services without him and recording festive television programmes to watch secretly very early in the morning while he is still asleep.  Last week he dropped the bombshell that he enjoyed Christmas last year and I pointed out to him that his mother died last December so we didn't listen to any Christmas music, watch any festive television or films or attend any carol services and kept the whole thing very low key. Great Big Sigh.
 
However, I have now heard my Christmas word and I am ready to sparkle.  I often say that for me, Christmas begins when I hear the word "Quirinius" and usually, that is the Sunday before Christmas.  After all, when else do you hear the word "Quirinius"?  The quote at the beginning of this post is, of course, the beginning of the story of the birth of Jesus as told in the second chapter of the Gospel of St Luke and is probably read at every carol service in Christendom.  It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and tells me that Christmas is nearly here.  I heard it on Sunday evening in a candlelit Victorian chapel at a lovely ecumenical carol service organised by all the Christian churches in my community.  I heard it again last night at another, very special carol service - I do love a carol service!
 
Back in April I visited St Bartholomew's Church in Moreton Corbet and wrote about it here.  A young friend of mine who plays in a brass band read my post and told me that every year, on the Monday before Christmas, the church holds its carol service with mulled wine, mince pies and...the brass band.  I wrote it in my diary then and there and determined to go this year.  I have to tell you that The Mathematician and I had a wonderful time.  The wine and the mince pies were warm, the brass gleamed and twinkled, the candles flickered, the church was packed to the rafters and the singing was lusty.  When the preacher talked about the Christmas shopping and preparations and asked the rhetorical question, "What are we doing it all for?" a very small child at the front immediately answered, "For Jesus," and hearts melted.  When I visited in April I wrote that I had little sense that this church was a House of God but last night, as we sang about Glory to the Newborn King in the candlelight, I changed my mind.
 
I took some photographs - please excuse the quality, the lighting was low and the heaters, set high on the columns, gave out a red glow, so I'm afraid the pictures look warm and fuzzy, but then again, that is exactly how I felt.
 




 
See you soon.
 
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x
 


16 comments:

  1. You have written about the true meaning of Christmas. It warned my heart to read your lovely post tonight. I wish for you a very Merry Christmas and all the blessings of this special time of year. Pat xx

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    1. That little girl made Christmas for me. Happy Christmas to you too, Pat. x

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  2. Glad to hear you were able to visit St Bartholomew's for a wonderful service, the brass band must have been great. Love the jazzy pinkness. x

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    1. The jazzy pinkness was nothing to do with me, Karen - it was the light cast by the heater in the top left of the picture and I didn't realise just how strong it was until I looked at the photos afterwards. Happy Christmas to you and yours. x

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  3. It's these types of activities that bring the true meaning of Christmas closer again. Glad you were able to make it back to the beautiful church and enjoy the full effect to warm your heart as it did. Merry Christmas to you and your family (whether they like Christmas or not).
    Wendy

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    1. Happy Christmas to you and yours, Wendy. It's easy to lose the true meaning of Christmas these days, isn't it? x

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  4. It sounds as if you are now feeling the spirit of Christmas. The concert at Moreton Corbet sounds wonderful. Wishing you and yours a happy Christmas:)

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    1. And Happy Christmas to you and yours, Rosie. Brass bands, Piva, it's all good. x

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  5. I'm with your Husband....last year all the family were busy else where on christmas day (we met up earlier in December) so husband and I took ourselves off Christmas morning to walk in the woods . Only a few intrepid dog walkers about as there was very heavy frost. The children's play area and the picnic are was deserted, so we swung on the swings and drank hot coffee from a flask...bliss. Came home to a salad lunch and opened our presents. Best christmas ever! We plan to do the same again this year..but are to eat a chinese takeway. Pre ordered and in the freezer.

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    1. The Best Beloved and I would like to have a Christmas Day just like that but we don't feel we can while we still have a dependent child. Maybe in a couple of years time we'll manage it. I have the perfect place in mind. Happy Christmas to you and yours. x

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  6. What a marvelous old church. It gives me tingles to think of the Christmas story being read there today as it has been for years and years. The title of your post intrigued me, for as you've said, how often do you hear the word Quirinius? Great post. I wish you (and your husband) a most festive and blessed Christmas.

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    1. Happy Christmas to you and yours too, Lorrie. I hope the mice in their little red-roofed houses had lots of fun - I just loved them. x

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  7. The church looks amazing a lovely setting to hear those little girls words, the true meaning of Christmas.

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    1. Absolutely, out of the mouths of babes and sucklings... Happy Christmas to you and yours. x

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  8. It looks trully beautiful. Wishing you a very happy new year Xxx

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    1. It felt beautiful too, Leah. Happy Christmas to you and yours. xx

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