Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Eve in Manchester.

The Altar is ready for Midnight Mass, sheets are printed, choirs are rehearsed and the white latin High Mass set given to me from Perpignan Diocese is laid out with the attendant cope and humeral veil for the carrying in of the Bambino who has a gold silk draped perch on the altar ready to be taken to the crib after communion. There seems to be a few hours of peace and stillness to enjoy before the Mass begins.

Here is the crib for this year. I will take a couple of pictures tonight, it looks splendid with the candles lit. This stays here until next Saturday and then becomes an Epiphany House in the North aisle complete with new figures and our splendid camels. Gold, frankincense and myrrh all make an appearance as well as any plants from the crib which have not photogenerated their last.

I was taken out for lunch today in Manchester centre. Here is the view from the restaurant doorway looking out onto Albert Square, now free of the German Christmas market which has returned to Romania, presumably ready to become a travelling fair for the Spring.

I also had a hot buttered rum in this white tent which purported to be a Winter Wonderland. The buttered rum was horrible, the tent less so. I am told that this is the latest fashionable venue for the large corps of moneyed people who make up the new city centre. Bah humbug.

Your fashionable scribe mixing with the glitterati of Manchester. Never mind me, have a wonderful Christmas Eve, enjoy the magic and beauty continually present in our liturgy and Churches and sing the redemption songs of the season with thanksgiving and joy at Midnight.