Festival of nine rap tunes for Kings College Cambridge Christmas 2019?

Our Spiritual Advisers

It’s a century since the service of Nine Lessons & Carols began as an attempt to inspire and comfort people after the Great War. It’s ninety years since it was first broadcast live by the BBC. Since then millions have watched or listened to the pure voices of 16 boy choristers and 14 male undergraduate choral scholars ringing in the start of Christmas.

As usual it looked and sounded perfect, but it had been an extraordinarily challenging event for Stephen Cleobury, King’s music director, who is now leaving the post after nearly forty years.

As he was working on the great centenary concert, opera singer Lesley Garrett, who hadn’t been in the news for a while, called the beloved candle-lit service, a ‘throwback to a bygone age,’ demanding that girls be allowed into the choir. The producers of the programme were obviously worried that the choir boys were predominantly white as most of the people invited to read the Lessons were not.

Cambridge has now appointed a new musical director who has previously criticised the ‘nicely packaged’ sound of ‘the very polite English cathedral choir,’ and dismissed some young boy’s voices as, ‘hooty.’

In an interview with the New York Times, organist Daniel Hyde, currently musical director of St Thomas Church in Manhattan, said he is hoping to challenge aspects of the English choral style, particularly, ‘the traditional very polite English cathedral choir sound, where one is never louder than lovely, and it’s all very nicely packaged, the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.’

Hyde, who will start his new job in October 2019, says he wants a greater variety of tone in the boy’s treble voices. He also says that the choir’s current sound had been developed and established as a result of the best-selling albums, while earlier recordings suggest it had once been ‘freer,’ than today.

What’s the betting on many more changes in the service next year?

5/1 A girl to sing the world famous, Once In Royal David’s City solo. Or, 10/1 a boy self- identifying as a girl.

2/1 Changes to the readings to include other versions of the Bible apart from the King James

20/1 Readings to include non-Biblical texts such as T S Eliot’s Journey of the Magi and fun texts that everyone can enjoy, such as Gervase Phinn’s, Wayne In A Manger.

Changes to the musical content for people who enjoy that nice warm Christmassy feeling without too much religious content:

15/1 The Twelve Days of Christmas, Jingle Bells

10/1 Mistletoe and Wine (shorter odds as it does actually mention Christianity)

25/1 Mary’s Boy Child, with steel drums.

100/1 A newly commissioned carol with words by Carol Ann Duffy and music by Lily Allen.

100/1 A fair-ground ride in the chapel. Norwich Cathedral is going to install a forty-foot helter-skelter in the West End of its Nave from August 7 to 18 next year, ‘To experience the centuries-old space in a new way and open up conversations about faith.’

Their fair-ground attraction will be followed by the arrival of Dippy, the Natural History Museum’s famous Diplodocus, which will be installed from July – October 2020 as part of its national tour. According to the cathedral Dean, Jane Hedges, Dippy will, ‘Prompt people to think about climate change and food production.’

25/1 An ice rink in the quad. In 2015, St Wulfram’s 12th century Church, Grantham, in Lincolnshire, a Grade I listed building, had an ice-rink installed in the nave to, ‘Bring festive cheer to the town and bring new people in to the church and to show them what we really do.’ Not long after saying that, the vicar, Fr Stuart Cradduck, fell flat on his back.

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7 Comments on Festival of nine rap tunes for Kings College Cambridge Christmas 2019?

  1. The vicious left won’t leave us alone, will they? They keep pushing because they think we’re too old, too despairing, too poor, to isolated or too weighed down with responsibility to care. Well, maybe they’re right. However, many of the levers of their power no longer function that well. BBC propaganda is falling on ears wise to the bias and alive to the slant. The massed ranks of the establishment look increasingly like circled waggons. Whenever they attempt reasoned argument they are easily beaten and lapse into sniping and yapping. However, the migrants keep pouring in; the “universities” keep dogmatizing and we may well be “swamped” for good and all in a few years time. Nevertheless, a window of opportunity remains. Pray God some means is found of using it. If we haven’t dislodged the Marxist deep state by the end of this year, we’ll have to hunker down in what privacy and obscurity we can find and sit out the black night of our civilisation until we ourselves die. Perhaps old Romans felt this way in the fifth century; much still stands, but battered, stripped and denuded as barbarians flaunt their primitive habits in the place of a gracious and sophisticated culture. How strange, to have know about the Decline and Fall all my days and to see it action once again today.

  2. The Christian church has outlived its usefulness in the developed world. The struggle to survive by attracting people who will never become believers is pathetic and an embarrassment.

    For educated non believers the great cathedrals have become palaces of art and history. They may sneer at the churches’ sorry and tasteless efforts to attract the agnostic crowds by introducing popular, fun elements but they themselves feel no affinity with the religious forces that created these great works.

    If the great majority of people in the so-called Christian world no longer believe in Christianity or God what future does that religion have other than as a provider of quaint seasonal pageants?

    • ‘Christian’ church or ‘Established Churches’ ( C of E and RC etc.)?

      Just on that, I believe the figures show that the numbers of people turning to Christianity worldwide is huge (not that the MSM would tell you) but that there is ongoing decline worldwide in the Established Churches. An example would be the recent growth of evangelical religion in South America and the consequent decline in Roman Catholicism.

    • People still love Stonehenge and want to preserve it, even though most visitors are not Druids. Why not preserve cathedrals and churches as part of a tradition – no need to sign up to religious twoddle to appreciate the good which Christianity produced (the music and the architecture)?

      • Many people visiting Stonehenge or the Egyptian Pyramids dearly wish for some magic to still be present in those sites. Mere history is not enough. They long for the supernatural.

        Our great cathedrals, so loved by the aesthetically minded, are owned by modern day Christians who are rapidly turning their religion into a soggy, inclusive, hopelessly uninspiring, fun-run.

  3. ‘The Christian church has outlived its usefulness in the developed world’

    In the same way that decency has outlived its usefulness for the youthful criminal.

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