A new series of blog posts for the festive season with a reflection on my start to the season: BBC Radio 3’s Choral Evensong.
My Christmas starts with Advent, signposted by the Sunday afternoon broadcast of Radio 3’s Choral Evensong. The broadcast is the starting point for a month of preparations, culminating in Radio 4’s Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve and a big warm Italian-influenced family get-together in leafy Purley soon after.
Both services hark back to childhood memories. My first experience of Nine Lessons was our school carol service – a seemingly grand affair in St Edmundsbury cathedral attended by every pupil and their parents. Those with a demonstrable ability to sing processed up the aisle to Once in Royal David’s City. Those without shuffled uncomfortably in the pews, bored by proceedings.