Last night, December 22nd 2014, we went to a beautiful Christmas Carol service in Abington Church, Murroe (County Limerick). Mum, Dad, myself and my love all bundled into the car after a long day; it was one of those evenings when it would have been easier to stay at home.
The service was an ecumenical service and the little picturesque church at Abington was packed to the rafters with locals from all denominations including representatives of the Catholic church, the Protestant church, and Abbot Mark Patrick Hederman and Father Anthony from Glenstal Abbey.
There were readings, prayers, a collection for the St Vincent de Paul Society and carols. There were lots of carols and LOTS OF SINGING. The roof was almost sang off with hearty lung-filled performances and the organist Koki was close to heart failure more than once as she attempted to contain the competitive fractions vying for hymn speed. I had the biggest smile on my face; I wonder was God laughing too. There was Christmas spirit in the air in abundance and it was beautiful. Just the singing alone was enough to shift the weight of worries from every shoulder.
We all headed back to “the big house” as tradition would have it for too much mulled wine, far too many biscuits (cakes, pies, and tarts) and colourful chat and entertaining stories. There was enough Christmas love for it to not matter that one car never survived the parking in the mucky field.
I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all about India from Father Anthony; he seemed more Indiana Jones than Monk if you ask me and confessed to wanting to be Hindu. He had me sold on India; one more mark on my world map of travel destinations.
There was no religious separation tonight;
just people and stories and
The rekindling of old and forging of new connections.
Just how it should be!