This is the exciting time of Advent when we approach the beginning of the Christmas season. Our hearts and minds are turned to the birth of the Saviour as we put our final preparations into place. You’ll notice that there are no calendar observances for our daily devotions during the octave before Christmas. Our focus is singularly on God coming in the flesh to rescue all of creation.
Here are a few things for you to know as we approach Christmas Eve:
When is Christmas? Christmas begins at Evening Prayer on December 24th. The blue or violet of Advent is put away along with the Advent wreath (unless it contains a white Christmas candle). Your church’s Christmas Creche can now be put out – without the wise men. The figure of the infant Jesus can be put into the manger right before the first liturgy of the Christmas season. This octave before Christmas or at some point during the Christmas season is when we have a Christmas Festival of Readings and Music (otherwise known as Lessons & Carols). Our Book of Occasional Celebrations provides such a service: https://www.anglican.ca/wp-content/uploads/OccasionalCelebrations.pdf (It begins on p.A13. There is also an Advent Lessons & Carols service provided in case you wanted to do something before this during Advent).
When is Christmas over? As I’ve mentioned before, contrary to common practice outside of our churches, Christmas doesn’t end until after the Evening Prayer of the Holy Day of the Baptism of the Lord. The Baptism of the Lord is always the Sunday following The Epiphany of the Lord (January 6).
Robbie Burns Supper! Wednesday, January 25 at St. George’s in Echo Bay. Tickets are just $20 and only 40 will be sold. The hearty Scottish meal includes haggis (a non-disgusting version – which means just normal, everyday ground meat) or vegetarian haggis, roasted potatoes, carrots, pease porridge, cranachan for dessert, and live keyboard music (Scottish tunes, of course)! Doors open at 6pm. Dinner at 6:30pm. Please email me for your tickets…nearly 1/3 are sold already.
For Your Devotions:
Sunday, December 25th is the Principal Feast of The Birth of the Lord. I don’t think I need to say more about this particular feast. It is the remembrance and celebration of the day God became flesh and dwelt among us.
In the hope and joy of the coming Christ,