You would think, after doing Advent Procession of Lessons and Carols for thirty-six years in a row (I know that previously we said this was the 35th, but in actuality, it was the 36th), that we would have learned certain important lessons. But Sunday night, they came home to roost. The lessons we learned were:
a. Because of the holidays, people are bound to get sick. We had two first sopranos get the flu, and only two first sopranos were left to carry the section. One bannerbearer had to be replaced at the last moment because of back troubles.
b. Because of the holidays, people travel and won’t be available for rehearsal to learn the music. We had two people who traveled to the mainland right before our dress rehearsal, and three others who were traveling and didn’t make it to the service at all.
c. Someone needs to check the lights before the day of the Advent Procession. Two lights were out over the choir area and it was difficult to read the music. Unfortunately there is no gas for the hydraulic lift, so no one could change the bulbs.
d. All of the Advent Procession readers need to sit in a designated pew, in the order that they are reading. Unfortunately there was a delay as each reader waited until the music was finished before getting up to read. Some of the readers came from the very far end of the church, and one reader didn’t get up at all.
In spite of all these “flaws,” there were very many beautiful comments about the service. One woman told us that she had “never heard a more beautiful choir” and couldn’t believe this was a church choir. Another said, “More than any other service we do throughout the year, this one ‘speaks’ to me. In spite of the flaws, last night was so lovely. The Ferguson was the perfect piece to draw the themes together, a most beautiful and appropriate conclusion. May some of the fervent hopes expressed in the prayers, readings, anthems and hymns be actualized in our time.”
From my perspective, there were very many lovely moments, but others which were a little scary. Luckily there were no train wrecks! In case you want to see a copy of the program, you can click here: Advent Procession 2010 (N.B. Be patient; it takes awhile.)