Friday, 28 December 2007

Family festivities and musings about the right tune

By popular family demand we looked for an English-speaking service on Christmas Eve and all went by bus up into the old town in Geneva, past the frozen outdoor chess players in the Parc des Bastions where the Reformation wall is. Nine lessons and carols was on at 17.00 at the Cathedral but we went to the rather less traditional service at the English-speaking Evangelical Lutheran Church. We even sang a carol in Japanese. I rather enjoyed it - in fact I still tend to appreciate worship anyone else has gone to the effort of putting together.
However one of the problems of going to any service with a professional musician and a few liturgists is picking over the entrails afterwards. Was the liturgical dance rather too long? What is the right tune to Away in a Manger or (and more importantly) It Came upon a Midnight Clear? Another divide I fear between the USA and the UK. We had similar problems yesterday with two professional museum managers dissecting the problems with the exhibition at the REd Cross museum (if you have the guided tour these probelms don't really occur).
On Christmas morning I returned to my former parish to worship for the first time since I left as the minister there five years ago. The "Temple" - yes honestly that is what French Protestant churches are called - had been beautifully decorated in preparation for the Taizé crowds who will arrive tomorrow in Geneva and there was glorious singing and music from the organ loft. And of course we sang the French words to the right tunes - thankfully I know of no French translation to Away in a Manger.
More mundanely the French health system has been supplying antibiotics to members of the family as they fell ill - so now we'll try to discover how to go about getting the reimbursements sorted out.


bab said...

Not sure how I found your site when looking for things on youth participation, but plan to return to read all your entries later. I am also interested in your husbands work on the churches in East Berlin and their influence on democracy. Happy New Year and Blessings! Barb Brown (

Jane said...

Thanks Barb
I'm sure Stephen will be happy to get in touch once he's defended his doctorate on January 15
Am currently fighting off strep throat so not very able to do much cogent thinking!