Well, here we go! The Maelstrom of December begins!
In all three of our churches, there is so much going on this Advent and Christmastide.
It all kicks off with the combined Christingle and St. Nicholas’ celebration for St. Michael’s and St. Margaret’s on the 2nd December at Isfield, and then comes our eleventh Festival of Christmas Trees at Holy Cross from 7th December – it’ll be the biggest and best we’ve done. It will be, as I tell everybody, like walking through Narnia. Hugely exciting and all help gratefully received!
For all other events, see the list later in the Link. All in all we have – above and beyond the normal Sunday Services – some twenty celebrations including Advent Carols, Lights of Love, Crib, Midnight Masses and some ten Carol Services. So much to join in with, relish and enjoy.
In all this rushing around, though, can I commend something to you? The great danger is that all this activity is that – fun though it is – we miss the point of it all, we can’t see the wood for the trees, as it were. It’s to celebrate the coming of Christ and that simple birthday can easily get lost in all the excitement.
Archbishop Justin – the patron of two of our Parishes – has spearheaded an initiative called “Follow the Star”. Lots of initiatives drop upon us from a great height, but this one I feel we could well do with getting alongside.
“Follow the Star” is a course of gentle prayer and bible readings in little booklets, starting from Christmas Eve and accompanying the reader through the twelve days of Christmas. It is way for people to engage with Christmas at a deeper level of faith and journeying.
See on the next page the introduction to the booklet by Archbishops Justin and John.
We are intending to give these little booklets away at our Midnight Masses & Crib Services: I feel it will be a really worthwhile act of outreach and evangelism at this time of year when the wider community is most responsive to the Christian message, a chance for people to see beyond the turkey and tinsel to the real Christmas message of hope, love and peace.
Happy Advent, Fr. John