Ding Dong Merrily on High
The Aldenham School Carol Service at a packed St Albans Cathedral was a wonderful occasion to help draw the Christmas term to a close.
The Carol Service started in darkness with the choir illuminated only by candlelight singing a medieval plainsong from the back of St Albans Cathedral, sounds that hark back to when much of the present cathedral was built, nearly a millennia ago. The lone soprano voice of Amelia Osband (Yr 8) started the traditional first carol, Once in Royal David’s City, followed by a brilliant brass fanfare which coincided with the switching on of the lights and the full blast of the organ (played by Mr Austin) as the congregation joined in with full voice.
The service followed the traditional mix of readings, congregational carols and choir pieces which ranged from the intimate Gabriel’s Message to the extrovert setting by John Joubert the traditional Galician carol Torches. John Gardner’s Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day and the beautiful alternative setting of the poem In The Bleak Mid-Winter by Bob Chilcott added further contemporary sounds to the service.
With the merry sounds of Ding Dong Merrily on High ringing in their ears the congregation went out into the dark streets knowing that the Christmas season had well and truly begun.