Weekly Service information
can from now on be viewed on the News page of St Mary’s own web site:
Weekly Service information
Exciting things have been happening: St Mary’s has been fitted up (steady…!) with a new web site.
It’s at www.stmaryswivenhoe.org and it’s creation has dispensed with one of this site’s raisons d’être: Forthcoming Events, and the periodical News items that were featured here can now all be found on the new site.
As duplication is the antithesis of what the internet is for, some sweeping and cobwebbing will soon follow here. Hopefully it won’t do any damage to what remains – for now.
Not out of laziness, but because the snowdrop is such a welcome sight at this time of the year, I decided to re-blog this Candlemas post.
Originally posted on St Mary's News blog what was:
It is often observed that Christianity deliberately coincided Christian High days with older, Pagan festivals in an effort to supplant those traditions and it is certainly true that the coincidence is quite remarkable – so remarkable in fact that, were the argument to be put before any jury in a court of law, they’d likely find that on the balance of probabilities this had to be true.
Candlemas is a case in point and I came across a blog that discusses all the traditions and legends of this mark in the Christian calendar so exhaustively and entertainingly that I have linked to it here. It explores the various traditions, folk, Pagan and Christian, that were observed at this time of the year and also touches upon the connection between the snowdrop and Candlemas.
One thing this blog does not mention about Candlemas is the Nunc Dimittis, the song
St Mary’s Advent on-line calendar has been added to the church website.
The advantage of the on-line calendar over a traditional physical one is: you cannot open the doors ahead of time!
Of course no-one has ever lifted the corner of that tempting 25th door ahead of time- just a little bit… of course not!
It would be, as the Rector explained in the ALL AGE worship service this morning, like preparing a meal for an expected guest and then sitting down and begin to eat and drink before he has arrived. It would spoil the occasion, and be RUDE too- as a small voice helpfully suggested.
Advent is a time of preparation and waiting, not for jumping straight into the main event.
For adults, that preparation may include reflection on redemption and the second coming; slightly confusing perhaps for children whose minds are focused on a baby in a manger as the endpoint of Advent preparations.
So how can you fill the waiting time with your children and turn it into a proper preparation?
Our Advent calendar tells the story of Christmas, not from the beginning of Advent but from Genesis onwards.
In bite-size pieces, it covers the Old and New Testament stories that signpost the coming of the Messiah; happenings in the long history of God’s relationship with people down the ages.
Try it with your child.
A wonderfully atmospheric start of the Advent season was made at the Christingle Service and that sense of wonder and expectation can be made to last.
From a Tweet seen this morning:
Sunday Club are going to perform a Nativity Play during the morning service on Sunday 15 December.
A preparatory workshop will be held on Saturday 16 December, from 10.30 am till 12 noon, at St Mary’s church.
Please encourage children, grandchildren, neighbours’ children etc to come if you think they might like to take part.
Ages approximately 5 up to 13/14 though it’s at the leaders’ discretion.
No casting has yet been done; we need sheep, shepherds, shepherdesses, angels, kings, Mary, Joseph, inn keepers etc.
Please spread the word.
Unapologetically repeating Malcolm Guite’s beautiful and comforting sonnet for All Saints day, with thanks.
Though Satan breaks our dark glass into shards
Each shard still shines with Christ’s reflected light,
It glances from the eyes, kindles the words
Of all his unknown saints. The dark is bright
With quiet lives and steady lights undimmed,
The witness of the ones we shunned and shamed.
Plain in our sight and far beyond our seeing
He weaves them with us in the web of being
They stand beside us even as we grieve,
The lone and left behind whom no one claimed,
Unnumbered multitudes, he lifts above
The shadow of the gibbet and the grave,
To triumph where all saints are known and named;
The gathered glories of His wounded love.
Circumstance without the pomp. The focus of today’s annual civic service was a little different from usual- but the tab-nabs afterwards were still splendid!
The full service recording is unfortunately no longer available on the Sermon Recordings page (but can be made available on request).