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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On Christmas Eve

On December 19th stormy winds set in and dominated Orkney 
making it impossible to cross from Stronsay to Papa Stronsay.
Things looked bleak for Christmas.
Having our outdoor crib looked impossible;
 the wind was too strong.
But....
On the morning of Christmas Eve we awoke to find that 
the tempest had stilled 
("flat calm")
giving a fresh aspect to the Christmas Carol
"all is calm, all is bright!"

The opportunity is seized to erect the Christmas crib.
In last year's storm, the entire roof, although secured by ropes, 
was blown off the crib and over the nearby shed.
We can't have a repeat of last year!
Br Magdala Maria is assessing the shed roof
and calculating how many screws would be needed 
to keep their roof beams from being blown over it ?

A quick bite during work.
Baked Beans from the tin, fried eggs, toast....and salt
fed their bodies,
while the spirit of Christmas Eve 
(...finishing the crib and chapel, revising chant and rubrics) 
fed their souls. 
And so it was.
For the Glory of God the crib was erected.
Blessed little island of Stronsay lost in the North Sea!
You have an outside crib celebrating the Saviour's birth
with shepherds and sheep,
three kings and three camels!
And Christmas comes once more!

The day is done..... or just begun.
At 11.00 p.m. we began the popular vigil devotions
as we awaited the midnight dawning 
of the Daystar from on High.

Veni veni, Emmanuel!
Veni et illumina sedentes in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.

2 comments:

Michelle Therese said...

And the mystery is solved!! When we were last out at Stronsay we couldn't figure out what you were going to do with this strange structure of bricks without mortar... And now we know!

Beautiful :-) And decidedly Orkney gale proof hahahaha

Anne B said...

On the other side of the world, on a warm summer's night, we, too, gathered for Midnight Mass, at the Church of St Joseph the Worker in little Glenrowan, Victoria. The 4 year old & 2 month old grandchildren slept. 8 year old Hamish - along with four young men aged between 16 & 21 - served the Mass, carrying the Processional Crucifix & also being the Boat Boy, while the 2 year old & the 6 year old stayed awake and were quiet.

The glorious Mass & motets (eg Puer Natus) were sung, a Capella, by the McKendry Family of Lavington & conducted by Tony Pead of the A.C.T.
The Celebrant: Fr Terence Mary Norton OFM Conv. (See summorumpontificumwangaratta)

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