This past Sunday was the Fourth Sunday of Advent, for those Christians who use the church calendar (or "liturgical calendar"). Being the Sunday before Christmas eve and Day, some also refer to it as "Christmas Sunday.
Either way, it was a wonderful Sunday for yours truly. Wonder weekend all around, as I got to spend Friday evening & much of Saturday with family, in Clarksville & on the road to the Nashville International Airport (BNA). The latter was because son David & his wife Allison (and grandchild to be born in April) were to catch a plane to Lincoln to spend the actual holidays with her family (we TN Grahams had our turn last year). The late afternoon was spent at church, in "dress" rehearsal of choir's music for the special Sunday.
So, as you can guess, dear reader, the beauty of Sunday commenced at Eastwood Christian Church (Disciples). All the extra songs sung were simply glorious! These included opening with choir director Julie Duemler singing a series of recitatives from "Messiah" (Handel's), leading into the whole choir singing "Glory to God" from the same. (Lyrics for all these sections of "Messiah" are Luke 2:8-14.) Later in the service we sang a special arrangement of "Silent Night", which I had reported on in an earlier post.
After this awesome Worship -- a spiritual feast indeed! -- we adjourned to the Fellowship Hall for dinner. Here was more food, this time of the material kind. Earlier, I had learned about Buche de Noel, a French pastry of Christmas-time. Dieta Duncan, who had via Facebook taught me what this is, gave me advance warning the evening before (at rehearsal) to go to the dessert table first (rather than the main food table). There was indeed a Buche de Noel made by her, resembling in appearance a Yule log. So I cut me a slice, selected a seat at a table and set it down there before getting in the main food line. The French pastry Yule log turned out to be "heavenly", as I told Dieta.
Santa Clause also paid us a visit, for the enjoyment of the many kids of ECC(DC). And even I got a present of sorts, for Bob Frech told me he had a spare ticket for the Vanderbilt women's basketball game later that afternoon at VU's Memorial Gym. So the enjoyment of the day continued, transferred to a different locale in Music City. The women were hosting the women's basketball team from Tennessee State University. The ladies from across town proved to be no challenge to Vandy's gals, as the latter never trailed and led 52-20 at halftime. I greeted Charlie Mattos, who in addition to being Bill Cody's sidekick on WSM's weekday morning show is broadcast announcer for the VU women. I showed him my Christmas tie, which he enjoyed a lot.
Final score was VU 84, TSU 47. Since the VU team had scored over 75 points, we all (I was with Bob and three other Frech family members) turned in our tickets to the Taco Bell just down West End toward downtown, to receive free hard tacos of the beef variety. Not my preferred type of taco (soft chicken is that), but still - free!
Later, after spending a little time in the Vanderbilt Library, I went to First Baptist Church in downtown Nashville. Earlier in the week I'd read on a half size flyer that the church would host a Fourth Sunday (Xmas Sun.) evening program of music involving a very large choir and a somewhat small orchestra (both of these being church members?). It was a delightful service, which included a couple excerpts from "Messiah" (one being of course "Hallelujah!") some new Christmas music and familiar old carols, which we the congregation were encouraged to sing along. And afterward there was fellowship and food downstairs in First Baptist's fellowship hall. The food included a treat I hadn't seen in years: cannolis! Shall we call these pastry delights a smaller Italian answer to the French Buche de Noel? Yum, yum!
And so a thor'oly delightful Sunday was, you might say, sandwiched between two church services full of music, followed by delicious food. San Antonio may know how to throw a party at the drop of a hat for any reason, but Nashville itself -- the Buckle of the Bible Belt -- knows how to celebrate this most special time of the year! And yours truly appreciates both the food and the music (food for the soul)!
Merry Christmas to you, dear reader.