>One member of our church aged 60+ (his age is important) commented to me at the beginning of last Sunday’s Carol Service that he had sung the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City as a solo at the carol service when he was a boy. I suspect that every year the Carol Service began with Once in Royal …………. Things get like that don’t they? This year we started with “Let all mortal flesh keep silence”. Nobody minded. The world didn’t end and nobody complained that we hadn’t sing Once in Royal David’s City at all.
The change that has upset a lot of people is moving hymn books to a table further in the church – done so that those greeting people can concentrate on greeting instead of giving books out, and so that they don’t have their backs to people as they come in. Also it means that people don’t have to walk past the coffee station at the end of the service to return their books. Old habits die hard and I suppose it’s always been done like that. Some change is noticed – other change slips in unnoticed.
I am old enough to remember Roman Catholic churches having to have central altars, so the priest faced the people when celebrating instead of having his back to everyone – and having to use the vernacular instead of Latin. They managed the change almost overnight. Sometimes it pays to have a Pope!