I have just returned from a wonderful wedding in France! It was a privilege to be a part of this special day for our friends, and it was fascinating to see the different customs the French have. For instance, each car, as it arrived at the town hall, had to blow its horn long and loud, and then after the ceremony, drive a roundabout route to the reception in convoy, again blowing its horn!
The wedding reception was less formal than here, with no speeches, but with much singing. We sang a ‘Bon Appetit’ song, plus we serenaded the cheese course as it arrived! Tables of guests took it in turn to sing a French song, and then, as honoured visitors from the UK, Mandy and I were asked to sing a medley of Beatles songs, accompanied by a musician but without any words in front of us! The French obviously believe that all we English know the Beatles songs off by heart! But actually I found, once the music started, the words of the songs did just seem to come and I think we got away with it!
Isn’t this often the way with songs and hymns and carols, that we can remember their words for years and years when we have long forgotten other things? Somehow our brains seem to be ‘wired’ in a way that helps us to remember words set to music. John and Charles Wesley knew this, and made use of it to good effect in their writing of the hymns that we know and love so well. They used them to explain things about God in a way which would take root in our minds and be a foundation stone of our Christian belief for the rest of our lives.
Some hymns have a special meaning for us at different times in our lives, perhaps when they remind us of truths about God which we needed to hold on to, or when their message seems to fit our situation perfectly. On 16th October we will be holding another of our popular ‘Songs of Praise’ services at 11:30, so if you have a hymn or a song which has a special meaning for you, please send me a note about it and why it is important to you, and I’ll try to include it in that service.
Please do come along to the service and get a ticket for the meal afterwards - bring a friend if you can! It will be a great time to enjoy and to be reminded that God is with us through all the circumstances of our lives.