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Christmas Plans


Choir Man
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Having spent an evening recording with our organist followed by a few evenings getting my virtual choir organised for Christmas, I was wondering how other members will be celebrating this rather different Christmas season.

At my church all the usual services have been replaced by Zoom offerings. Instead we a producing a pre-recorded Nine Lessons & Carols (using copyright free music and home-grown descants). This will then form part of an 'installation' in the church. The church will remain open all day every day (as it usually is) and, along with the Nativity and other Christmas displays, 9 L&C will be played on a continuous loop. People can then drop in at any time for as long as they like to hear the Christmas message in a COVID-safe manner. Not sure if, at just over 3 weeks long, this will be the longest carol service ever?

Other than a short service on Christmas day, which hopefully we can have the organ and a couple of family bubbles forming a small choir, there will be no live singing in services for the foreseeable future. The good news about outdoor singing ( https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches ) means that the choir may be able to do some carol singing in the churchyard the week before Christmas.

Best wishes to all. 

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We start back this weekend having had November off. Rehearsals with the full choir take place in the nave. The services are sung by 10 trebles and 6 men on a rota basis - 1 week on, 2 weeks off. 9 Lessons this year is ticket only and we sing it twice (5pm and 7pm) with two smaller choirs. It takes a lot of organising but is worth it. We sing from up behind the high altar (which has been moved a little further west so we sing into an empty space standing in a wide horseshoe shape) rather than in the choir stalls.

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The choir (not a church choir) that I sing in will be one of very few such choirs in Oxford giving a Christmas concert this year.  We are at present 20-odd voices.  We are rehearsing (just started again today after lockdown) in an octagonal church, spread around the outer wall at 2m intervals - which actually works better in some ways than our usual layout in pews.  We hope to be singing in the University Church (the formal risk assessment is tomorrow), with the choir laid out in a chequerboard pattern (like you see pictures of orchestras), and an audience limit of 80 (the same as the church is imposing for its own events) which is possible because it is a large area.

We are singing German Christmas music from the Reformation to the present day.

Paul

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Bristol Cathedral are doing online bookings for services. No music booklet for December has yet been produced though but I imagine one will appear soon. It could well be that the chapter, along with our (still fairly new) Dean, are still working it out and you can't rush things in times like those we find ourselves in. I am booked in for the 6pm service this coming Sunday though which is, I believe, planned to be an Advent service of sorts.

Dave

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Hi

No choir in our small church, so that's one less problem.  Family service Sunday week (by invitation) plus a normal set of worship material (usually including hymns that I record & post on You Tube); following Sunday is our carol service (I think the main service will be by invitation, and probably a full-length video version on YT (I've trialled full length YT services over the past few weeks with a couple of full-length videos.  Hopefully I won't have to do the whole thing, as I did for Advent Sunday.  The video editing can get quite time-consuming!  Also a service Christmas Day (nothing Christmas Eve - that would normally be the family service, but the Covid guidance from the denomination specifies a clear 72 hours between uses of the building.  That also means I get the Sunday after Christmas off.

In addition to the stuff for church, I'm considering (if I can find time) recording a lessons & carols to go out on YT on Christmas Eve - but don't hold your breath, I have severe health issues & that's making things rather difficult at present.

Every Blessing

Tony

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