On Sunday evening 15 December 2013 some fifty hardy friends and neighbors of St-Philip’s Church braved the chaotic aftermath of Montreal’s first significant snowstorm of the year, to come and experience an hour or so of spiritual meditation and worship. It was the Nine Lessons and Carols service, and truly it felt like a moment where we could step off our fast-spinning planet and just take a break.
The evening was a heady dose of nostalgia, and a potent reminder through a liturgy that most of us have known all our lives, of the Love of God for Humanity. This was an hour of prayers, stories, and of some truly superb music presented by the St-Philip’s choir. It was an hour free of commercial clamour – free of any sense of hurry. It was a time where we are a little more successful in putting aside our differences and just celebrating God’s love for us and our love for each other. It was an hour of living what we wish we could live every day.
The service did end of course, as all things must; the congregation then gathered in the Guild room to raise a glass to our wonderful choir, and to each other. After that, we all went back out into the snow to carry on with our daily lives. Life is not always peaceful or beautiful, but we were all touched that evening by the stories – the beauty – the possibilities. That is Christian Love. That is God’s Love. May we share that love through the rest of Advent, Christmas, and all of the upcoming year.
- Steven Berntsen