December 25th, 2005


O Holy Night

Sometimes it comes from the dumbest of stimuli. After a long night of playing video games, I was reading a book in bed and had the tv on for happy noise in the background. The "South Park Christmas Special" was on, and Cartman was singing his version of "O Holy Night".

I remembered the Christmas Eve candlelight services at the church of my youth. My grandfather sang in this choir. His father was a choirmaster, and he'd been singing in some church choir pretty much all his life - he had a deep, strong bass voice, a real booming stentorian yawp that could fill a church from narthex to nave. At one of the Christmas Eve services, my grandfather sang what was surely the best performance of "O Holy Night" since it was penned.

Growing up, I was sent to church by my grandparents. I'm glad I was, even though I haven't stayed with the church, I'm glad I had that education and grounding amongst people that really were just trying to do right and worship God - it was a simple church with a small community. I sang in the children's choir, too - and my grandfather always said, over and over, "Boy, when your voice changes, pray you're a tenor. That's the money voice!" As it happens, I have a good enough range that I'm almost a tenor, although it's certainly not a "money voice" - at least not yet. Never the less, I'd always hoped that some day my grandfather and I could sing a duet of "O Holy Night" together.

So last night, hearing Cartman singing that song ...

So yeah, I'm going to go to church this morning. I'm far from the simple chapel on the hills above Valley Forge where I was raised. But their website says it will be a service of lessons and carols. I can hope they do that one.

Merry Christmas, friends.