Thursday, December 20, 2018

From Mother Vicki

Collect for Christmas
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him
perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 212

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

"O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the True Light."  What a beautiful beginning to the Collect we will use on Christmas Eve as we begin to celebrate the twelve-day Feast of Christmas.  Advent, the season of preparation, is almost over.  Our fourth week in Advent lasts but a day and a half.  In the darkness of Monday, December 24, we will rejoice in the light of Christ breaking into this frightened world with such humble and loving power that we are still puzzling about why our Lord would choose to become a helpless child.

Thanks to all who helped out and participated in our wonderful Christmas Pageant last Sunday.  The pictures are precious!  And thanks to all who shopped, cooked and baked for our Potluck Congregation Christmas Dinner.  What a feast we shared!

Last rehearsals for the Saint John’s Festival Choir are on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 5:45 p.m. in the Church and on Monday, Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. We will be singing on Christmas Eve at the 9 p.m. Mass.

Even if you are going out of town (prayers for safe travels!), don't forget to invite your family, friends and neighbors to our Candlelight Christmas Eve Service Monday night at 9 p.m. (Prelude starts at 8:45 p.m.) and Christmas Day Service Tuesday at 10 a.m.  In addition to our Saint John's Festival Choir, a professional string quartet will join us on Christmas Eve, and Jason Slayden, our organist and a brilliant tenor, will sing "O Holy Night."  We are very grateful to Abigail Fischer, a world-class soprano, who will also sing a touching solo on Christmas Day as we continue to sing the beloved Christmas carols.

Christmas is about mystery and faith, darkness and light, struggle and hope.  Every year we are in a slightly different place.  If there has been a death in the family, some sickness or financial struggle, it may feel even more difficult to celebrate Christmas.  But every year, the light of the Christ Child breaks through the gloom with heavenly light.

"Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light, and usher in the morning;
O shepherds, greet that glorious sight, our Lord a crib adorning.
This child, this little helpless boy, shall be our confidence and joy,
the power of Satan breaking, our peace eternal making."
        Hymn 91:     Words, Johann Rist (1607-1667)

On this holy night, heaven and earth are reconciled.  May your Christmas Celebration be blessed in wondrous ways! Merry Christmas!Anchor

In Christ and with love,
The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota

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