Thursday, 25 December 2008

A festival of lessons and carols

Though I'm a Buddhist, Christmas used to be the time when I tuned in religiously to the BBC World Service's Christmas radio programmes. Unfortunately, I don't do it any more. But decades ago when the Sony ICF-7600D was my constant companion, it was my window to the world. In my opinion, the 7600D was one of the best world-band receivers I've ever had. I bought it in Singapore in 1984 or 1985 and it's price was only slightly more than SGD100 at that time. Not more than RM240 at the prevailing currency conversion rate.

On Christmas eve, I would listen to the BBC World Service broadcast of A Festival of Lessons and Carols from the King's College Chapel, Cambridge. There's nothing more magical on Christmas Eve than to hear the choir sing the processional hymn, Once in Royal David's City. It would commence very quietly and then build up as the choir enters the chapel. The readings of the Lessons would soon begin and occasionally interspersed with carols.

This year, I shall be listening to the record instead. It'll bring back the memories of straining my ears to listen to their faraway sound on my Sony shortwave radio. To my Christian friends....Merry Christmas. To my non-Christian friends....Happy Holidays.

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