Archive for December 29th, 2006

We are planning to go to Comrie for Hogmanay where there is a procession of flaming torches called Flambeaux.   These are birch poles soaked in the river Earn for six weeks before having tarry sackcloth wired to their tops ready for the procession.    They are lit and paraded through the village with a pipe band leading the way as well as a fancy dress parade.    It is a unique spectacle.

The weather forecast is particularly foul for the 31st – rain and big gales, so we will need to dress up.       Last time we were due to go to Comrie for New Year, the snow came down really heavily from 4pm onwards and blocked all the roads making travel especially dangerous.

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Christmas Service

Like lots of people, we always go to church at Christmas.     Normally we travel a distance to church, but at Christmas we like to go locally.   

This year, it was very much a family service, which was fine as far as it went, and great if you were under 5, but for the rest of us it was rather lacking in the true Christmas message.   

Christmas should be about the wonder of the extradordinary Christmas story:   it is  as beautiful as it is dark.     It is a celebration tinged with sadness.     Also, because it is very much a family occasion, it is a time for peace and thanks, as well as a time for reflection, paticularly when we think of those who have passed on and are no longer with us.

There was very little peace at this Christmas service at all.    It was difficult to concentrate on receiving communion with loose children playing about.   I could not hear or concentrate on the Gospel because of the noise.  

When our children were small, they had to sit still with us – and we had suitable diversions to keep them quiet if needed.    If they became difficult, they were removed – did not happen on Christmas day, but did happen elsewhere.   

I don’t like to grumble about a Christmas service, because a lot of thought and effort had been out into this one.     Perhaps next year, we may go somewhere else – pity, because I have been going to this particular service since I was 6.

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