It was great to have this ecumenical event continuing in George Square, under the auspices of the Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Churches Together. This year was the first time for new Lord Provost Jacqueline McLaren and our new Archbishop Bill Nolan. The Alba Brass group added their usual joyful music as the crowds gathered on a cold but dry evening on 30th November. The carols were led by Miltonbank Primary School choir who were resplendent in Santa hats. In her opening greeting, the Lord Provost highlighted the essence of the service’s message of love, and welcomed the opportunity to come together to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
Part of the nativity story from St Luke’s Gospel was read by Bishop Kevin Pearson of the Scottish Episcopal Church, before Archbishop Nolan led the blessing of the Crib which included the beautiful words:
As your people look upon this Crib scene, may they be of one mind with Christ.
May Christ be the way that leads them to you, the truth that shines in their hearts, the life that animates their actions.
May Christ be a light to their footsteps, a safe place of rest on their journey, and the gate that opens to them the City of Peace.
The Glasgow Poet Laureate, Jim Carruth, then read his Nativity Sonnet. Church representatives led those present in prayer, including intercessions for the city , its Council and its citizens, for peace, and for the homeless, before the final blessing was said. Leavening the more formal parts of the service, the children sang a selection of modern carols including It was on a starry night; the Calypso Carol and Only One More Sleep to Christmas. Perhaps some wishful thinking in the last one but it brought the service to a cheerful end.