This song was written for the traditional Christmas Eve service described in yesterday’s Digest held at the community meetinghouse in West Brookfield, Vermont in 2012. The “service” is more of a kids’ talent show than a religious event, but it’s a lovely time to catch up with the neighbors and to feel good about where you are in the world.
The song, Cathedral of Wood, is a tribute to West Brookfield resident and lay minister, Bob Small, who presided over the service for many years. Among Bob’s natural gifts was a lovely tenor voice which he put on display with a solo, a cappella version of O Holy Night. Shortly after Bob passed away, I put this song together as a way to remember and honor him. Intending it as a “one and done,” I performed the song at that evening’s service, assisted by Bob’s daughter, Patty. (photos by Sandy Levesque)
That should have been that … until this past year when Bob’s son Rick, who still presides over the family homestead, mentioned to a mutual friend, Donna Soltura, that he wished that a recording existed. Thus, it came to pass on a sweltering June day in 2021, that Donna and I convened at the Parsonage Studio on Gilead Brook Road to make the recording. Apologies in advance for limited video editing skills and even more limited musical ability, but also gratitude to Donna for being a great sport who had no problem getting into the holiday spirit: