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Christmas And Carols

Christmas and Carols

As with so many Christian traditions, carols are not Christian in origin. They were originally songs sung at Winter Solstice celebrations. Early Christians harnessed the idea, replacing the custom with songs celebrating the new Christion religion.

Carols were sung throughout Europe for hundreds of years. They were stopped briefly in England by the Puritans, but kept alive by being sung secretly. 

For many people the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at Kings College is the real start of Christmas. After the hurly bury of December, it’s lovely to sit down and listen to the beauty of a boy soprano singing the opening verse of “Once, in Royal David’s city”.

Official carol singers were called ‘Waits’ because they only sang on Christmas Eve, known as ‘watchnight’ or ‘waitnight’ (because of the shepherds were watching their sheep when the angels appeared to them.).

There are lots of carol services locally. Let me recommend a couple of nice options.

At 3pm on 16th December, The Parks Trust will be hosting its annual carol afternoon at the Milton Keynes Rose in Campbell Park. 

The Rose is a public space designed for commemoration, celebration and contemplation. It was created by Gordon Young as a central civic space to host events significance and occasions of remembrance. It is an open-air circle with markings based on the mathematical beauty of a flower. Upon installation 106 granite pillars of varying height were mounted in positions to create the art piece. 64 pillars have been engraved with dedications, leaving 42 for future inscriptions. Bring a lantern and wrap up warm!

If you prefer your carols inside and more traditional in content I’d recommend the ever-popular Carols by Candlelight at Stony Stratford Community Church. There is a service at 5pm and 7pm on Sunday 23rd December. 

The Butterfly Loft is for Christmas and all year! Booking accommodation in Milton Keynes couldn’t be easier. Just call on 01908 266602 to check availability and make your reservation.

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