Carols at Christmas

The BBC Radio Nottingham Carol Service, St. Barnabas’ Cathedral, Nottingham.

In these days of overly-commercialised Christmases, what a pleasure it still remains to hear good old-fashioned carols sung out with gusto and love. This visit to St. Barnabas’ Roman Catholic Cathedral was my second carol concert of the season, having previously attended the Nottingham Trent University concert in which my partner sang at St. Peter’s in Nottingham.

St. Barnabas’ Cathedral has become my regular place of worship. It’s a special place to me, one that I have become extremely fond of through my regular visits for Sunday evening Mass. Built in 1844 in the Plain Gothic style, the cathedral, whilst imposing from the exterior exhibits a comparatively modern appearance inside. The mix of old and new I find attractive.

Radio Nottingham presenter, Sarah Julian presented the evening to aRadio Nottingham's Sarah Julian healthy congregation. The cathedral’s excellent choir and youth choir provided the music along with the accomplished musicianship of ‘A Touch of Brass’ which offered a particularly seasonal sound. The St. Barnabas musical director Mr. Neil Page lead from the front in a very personable, enthusiastic and enjoyable manner.

An interesting point was made during the service that around 40% of the UK population will attend a carol service this Christmas. I find this very heartening even if not all that attend necessarily adhere to the full meaning and spirit of Christmas. The fact that these old carols still have a meaning perhaps in their tradition and culture is still a worthy one.

Those of us attending had our opportunity to open our lungs and join in on several occasions. There is something very liberating and pleasing I find in putting your heart into a carol or two at Christmas time.

It’s back to St. Barnabas tomorrow for Sunday evening Mass. I’ll enjoy it as much and even more than I already do I now feel ready for Christmas.

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