It seems that recently there have been more funerals of people we know than usual. The autumnal month of November fits in well with reflecting on sad events of the past. We remember on All Souls Day (2nd November but celebrated on 3rd at Mudford) those we have known and loved who have died, either recently or in the past. November 11th, Remembrance Day is celebrated on Sunday 10th November. This marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the 2nd World War. Hope in all these special events should be the key emotion.
The end of November leads into Advent (1st December Advent Sunday) and the reflective season which leads up to the joy of Christmas. On 22nd November we are having something cheerful, 'The Night of Miracles'. This is happening on St. Cecilia's Day. Who is she, you may well ask? No one knows for certain except that she was a revered martyr of the early Roman Church. The only certain thing about her is that a woman called Cecilia allowed a church to meet in her house in Trastevere in Rome and a church built later on the site was dedicated to St. Cecilia. She was remembered as a brave woman who risked giving hospitality to a Christian Church when to do so was to face persecution or possible death. According to to a tradition dated to the 5th Century, she converted her pagan husband and his brother to the Christian faith, both of whom were martyred before her. She is said to have been martyred on this day in about the year 230. She is though of as the patron saint of musicians.
This leads us back to the musical event to be held on her day this year. The Benefice Choir are doing something they have not attempted before, an evening dedicated to one piece of music, about the story of Christmas. It is not the Messiah or anything highbrow but something more in the style of Cole Porter. The composer is an American, John Peterson, and the work was written in 1958. The music is interspersed with spoken narration and a few carols sung by the audience ans also pieces by soloists. There will be refreshments but no charge in the hope that people will be very generous and give donations to bibic (British Institute for Brain Injured Children), our Benefice Project for this year. A representative of bibic will be coming to the performance. I hope you will all come to what I know will be a very enjoyable evening.
Tel: 01935 850745