Tag Archives: Watchnight Service

Christmas Eve 1974 (re-blogged)

Christmas Eve 1974

Murder in the Cathedral – well, getting duffed up on the steps of the kirk……..

I went to my first charge in June 1974 – a pleasantly quiet village where most of the excitement at Christmastide was going to look at the lights (green, amber, red, amber, green – hell , this was confusing – but exhilarating)

Anyhow, it was Christmas Eve and my first watch night service as a newly fledged meenister.

I got to the church just as the pub across the road was scaling out (whiff of the barmaid’s apron £1; sook of the spittoon £1.25; half-pint of dregs only £1.30. – I made that up)

Mind you, a few weeks before draped from the window of one of the flats above was a bed sheet with the message: “Happy 27th birthday, Granny”

OK – to our tale of woe: some of the punters from that pub decided that it would be a good idea to rough up our church officer who had asthma.

I managed to get those youths out of the building, but they started to smash up some of the diamond-shaped stained-glass windows.

So this daft wee meenister followed them outside to remonstrate; they then got stuck into me  and hit on the head with an object (at that point, unknown)

The Polis arrived very quickly, and, even though they knew who the miscreants were, were annoyed when I wouldn’t make a statement.

Our Session Clerk, the saintly Dr Tom Burnett (RIP) arrived at the same time as my heavily pregnant wife. Gossip started about a Christmas baby – Matthew was actually born at the beginning of February – but he was actually putting stitches in my head (without anesthetic!)

Then right on time, I stood in the pulpit and preached about peace and goodwill toward all men.

The next day – Christmas morning – I had a 10.30 service – and, before we stated, Davie the Beadle, went to the church safe, and dialed in the code (6-6-6) opened the door  and produced a dented can of Tennant’s lager (for my older friends, these were the heavier metal tins with the ‘Lovelies’ depicted thereon) – the one that had caused me to have three stitches put in my head.

I later enjoyed that can of beer – because it was ………….. Thirst after righteousness – boom boom!

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Three Little Boys

Three kids – one Catholic, one Protestant, and the other Muslim- were talking together about Christmas which was only a few days away.

The Catholic boy said,”I love Christmas – but we have to go to Mass on Christmas Eve and it goes on for hours.  By the time my folks have chatted with their friends and had a game of Bingo in the Church Hall (using Roman numerals, of course), we don’t get home until two in the morning and I have to go to bed.  But I get up early, and there are loads of presents – lots of toys; it’s wonderful!”

The Proddy lad said, “I love it too, although my Mum and Dad drag me off to the Watchnight Service at the kirk and the Minister just tells the same old story every year; then the bigger boys and girls (Youth Group) serve terrible coffee and pie things that are full of dead flies (mince pies), then we go home and gather round the Christmas Tree and there are presents – loads of them – toys, games…brilliant!  It’s great!”

 

They turn to the Muslim lad.  “What about you?” they ask, “What do you do at Christmas?”

“Well,” says the wee boy, “My Dad has a toy factory in Bangladesh and he imports sea-containers worth of Christmas toys and games and, oh, all sorts of stuff to be sold at Christmastime…..

…… so, we stay in on Christmas Eve and have a party with dancing and singing”

“What???” ask the two others, “Like Christmas Carols and that?”

“No, no!” answers the wee Muslim laddie, “Our favourite is ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus”

Boom!  Boom!  Bet you’ve heard that one before!

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August 20, 2013 · 10:16