A Child is Born
Christmas Eve. Midnight mass in Carpentras Cathedral, Provence.
Il est ne le divin enfant.Just north of Avignon the place was packed for the 90 minute celebration. I have to say the Church of England version is delightfully shorter-after all we all know what happens. But that night had some lovely touches , the lead singer whose voice cracked at the high notes. The hats some of the readers wore.The little boy given a doll to walk around with. All good stuff. But the French, they will try it on.
OK they won the 100 years war, but it was a home game and it took them long enough. After that like the English cricket team things started to go wrong.. Seven Years war, Napoleonic War, Franco-Prussian, the blood letting of the First and the humiliation of the Second, its not that great a record. But they cant let it go.
During the midnight mass the priest, a Catholic priest, no comment, states that the baby Jesus got less publicity when he was born that Prince George the recently born third in line for the British throne. And The Daily Telegraph’s man(sic) of the year.
Less publicity, oh come on. We know that the Catholic Church is backward,corrupt, ludicrous etc but if you are a journalist and two stories come across the desk. Unmarried Jewish mother in some Palestine back water. What are the angles -sex education, lack of NHS beds, teenage pregnancies, not exactly the stuff to cheer the readers over the holiday .
Then there is the Prince George story, dashing if slightly bald prince and his nearly upper class princess give birth in a palace in London, the fun and financial capital of the world – this is the story Hello! Is waiting for. This will cheer up the readers as they huddle round their TVs waiting for the Queens broadcast. OK which story do you go for. Its a no brainer.
But of course for the anointed in Carpentras , its a cheap hit. And, given the season, one we are prepared to forgive and forget. Yes, they have the croissant, the bagette, the wine, the nuclear power and Paris but they do not have a royal family. Sakorzy , Hollande, Mitterrand and company however much they run around bed hopping and the rest, where’s the pageantry, the royal weddings, the billions around the world watching the tv special-they are just about to leave the palace(oh bless)-the Chinese queuing to buy the commerative mugs. Nulle part, they just cant get over it,even on the most sacred of nights.