It was a dark and stormy night...
And confusion too was what I found there. Sacristy packed full of readers, acolytes, Thurifer, Master of Ceremony and Fr. Davis. I had had some difficulty because I couldn't find the appointed Epistle, not noticing there was an alternate for Christmas and that was what we were using. And my preparation for the second lesson of the five -- well, Deacon Miller wasn't coming so I wound up reading the first instead. (Paul Jr. wound up reading the second.)
Somehow we skipped the Decalogue, but things went pretty well. Fr. Davis did a great job of integrating a set of readings alternating with carols into Holy Communion -- we seem to be blessed with a series of great liturgists (or maybe our seminary is teaching this well). My favorite hymn, 197 Picardy (Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent), was the post-communion hymn; I just wish I could find a recording of it that I like -- should be simple, male choir or soloist singing it a cappella and straight, to the setting in our Hymnal 1940. But it's not.
A very touching moment before the carols ended: Kavya leading her new little sister Tanaya up to the table-top creche, where Tanaya reached waaay up to place the infant Jesus in the manger. One of those things visually recorded only in the mind's eye.
It was still very dark and stormy coming home, but no longer so bleak.
Merry Christmas, dear reader.