Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sing we joyous, all together, heedless of the wind and weather

^Text added by me (it's from "In the Bleak Midwinter"), and lovely snow effect by Elphie from the FT Forum! :D
I haven't written just a regular post in a long time, and I have things to say! So here it is. :)

We went caroling Monday night with some people from church. It was so much fun! We went to 6 pm Mass, and then headed downstairs and ate some chili. After about half an hour we were ready to set out, and collected our battery operated candles and song sheets. Fr. F. carried a lantern.

We went to quite a few houses, both people from church and people we don't know. At one house we stopped to sing at, the porch lights went on, turned off again, and the next thing we heard was loud thumping music. *rolls eyes* But other people were more appreciative and even came outside. :)

One of the best reactions came from a elderly couple who came to their door to listen.

"That was very nice," beamed the lady when we had finished. "We really enjoyed it."

As we shouted "Merry Christmas" and turned down the street, a lady with a thick smoker's voice shouted from a van paused in the street, "We really enjoyed it too!"

That's the thing I love about Christmas caroling...you really make so many people happy. It's a lovely feeling to know that you brightened their day. That sounds cheesy, but like so many cheesy-sounding things...it's actually true.

Then we headed to the police station, which is right next to the church. Last year we'd walked through (partly to warm up, as it was -7 Farenheit!) and sang to a young woman who was waiting there. This year, however, it was locked, and when Fr. F. called the phone inside the door, they just said that the police station was closed. :P

"Let's go to the fire station!" said Dr. S., the former English teacher, who is a very bouncy, creative individual. "They're more fun!"

So we headed to the fire station and sang for the one guy who came outside. It was more fun than the police station, because he looked like he was about to cry! It's always nice when something you do touches someone that much.

Then we headed across the street to the apartment (it's actually mainly a home for the elderly) that a sister who goes to our church lives in. She was waiting in the lobby with some other residents and we sang a couple songs, and then Sister began leading us on the grand tour of people to sing for! We ended up going all the way to the 10th floor, with 6 or 7 stops along the way.

"Everyone 25 and younger has to take the stairs!" Fr. F. called. Almost everyone took the stairs. haha

As we came back down the stairs, I looked out the window. The view of the light-filled city was spectacular! And then we were back out in the chilly, somewhat windy, 11 degree weather!

Fr. F. had us all stand in a parking lot across from church so we could get a picture with our church in the background. Everyone was having tons of fun by this time...we were all cracking up because every time Fr. F. would call out a direction like, "Move a bit closer!" or "Smile bigger! You're going to be in the bulletin on Sunday!", we'd all repeat it! When he finally got a good picture, he exclaimed, "That's a super-picture!"

"That's a super-picture!" we all yelled.

During the picture-taking, Abbe K. (the oblate at our church) was doing his "I'm melting! I'm melting! Oh, what a world!" imitation...that was just...disturbing. Hahaha! We all just about died of laughter.

Then we set off down the street again, heading to another apartment that a parishioner lives in! It's the main street in our city, and lots of people honked at us as they drove past, eliciting waves and shouts of "Merry Christmas!" from us.

Abbe K. started singing, "Oh when the carolers go marching in, oh when the carolers go marching in, oh Lord I don't want to be in that number, when the carolers go marching in!" Next he sang, "The carolers go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah. The carolers go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah! The carolers go marching one by one, the littlest one stopped to stick out his thumb...wait, that doesn't work! Oh! The carolers go marching one by one, their lips are numb so they have to hum!" My dad started harmonizing with him...oh, it was funny!

At the next apartment, we assembled in the lobby and the man from our church who lives there went and collected various friends. We sang a lot of songs for them and they greatly enjoyed it!

By the time we finished, it was time to head back to church for hot chocolate. We went back down the street, and Abbe K. said to me, "So! Jesu Redemptor omnium..."

"No!" I said. "Not now!" I'm singing the solo part of that with two other girls for the Christmas Masses.

"Oh, come on, you don't want to try hitting those high notes while walking in this cold weather?"

"Nah...not particularly. Hey! Why don't you try it?" So he did, with alarmingly good results! :O lol

When we arrived back at church, Fr. F. had us all stand in front of the statue of St. Joseph outside. The younger boys stood on the wall and all the rest of us clustered in front, with a space left free so that St. Joseph would be visible.

"Okay, look at your papers and open your mouths and pretend to sing and smile!" said Fr. F. This produced much laughter as we pretended to sing, and then we all started singing "O Little Town of Bethlehem", as Abbe K. waved his lighter!

Then Dr S. took a picture so Fr. F. could be in it too. He started singing along with us, but didn't remember the words and so just sang "La la la", which made us all laugh. Then we sang "Joy to the World" and two of the ladies started bouncing up and down on the "Repeat the sounding joy" part! Everyone was getting so hyper and crazy. Good times. :)

Then we headed downstairs for hot chocolate and cookies. Fr. F. once again told a story from his youth in Brazil. At the time, it was the "cool" thing for young Brazilians to be Communists, and there were frequent street fights between the Catholic and the Communist teenage guys. Well, one day when Fr. was in his late teens, he and a lot of fellow Catholic young men attended Mass at the Cathedral, the way they started each day before dispersing to work and school. They knew that the Communists planned to attack them that day, but they had a defense tactic planned.

The cathedral was in a large square, surrounded by a wall and trees, with an entrance at each corner. The 40 black belts (Fr. F. among them) stood around in the courtyard after Mass chatting, while the others went into restaurants across the street.

Before long, the Communists started coming into the courtyard, leaving people in the entrances to plug them up and prevent the Catholic guys from escaping. One of the Catholics stood on the steps of the cathedral, keeping watch for one of the Communists to hit a Catholic. When one of them did, he gave a signal and the fight was on! The black belts attacked the Communists, and then the other Catholic guys who had been in the restaurants came pouring in through the entrances, blocking the Communists from escaping.

Fr. F. always is pleased to inform us that they sent 22 Communists to the hospital with various injuries, but none of the Catholics were harmed! All the altar boys greatly enjoy those stories. ;) I myself think Fr. F. should write a memoir! He's told us so many interesting stories.

So, that was our fun and crazy caroling party!

I read "Waking Rose" by Regina Doman last week, and it was sort of...life-changing! It was very interesting...it gave me a new and clearer view of life, romance, college, etc. It was very interesting, and I just loved the book! So I really want to post about it sometime, but I think I'll wait until after Christmas...I want to have time to do a good job on it!

As one of my friends had in her Facebook status today, Happy Christmas Eve Eve! :) I will have a gift for you all on here tomorrow!

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