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Christmas Letter 2012

Advent / Christmas, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May the grace and peace of God’s Word, made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, be with you!

I am always amazed at how the season of Christmas, more than any other liturgical season in the Church year, has produced such memorable hymnody and carols, from the ancient and medieval texts to modern and contemporary texts.  Each carol speaks of the mystery we celebrate.  God loves the world so much and desires to redeem us that he sent his own Son, Jesus, born of our sister, Mary and parented as well by our brother, Joseph.

Each year, at this time, I try to focus my prayer and reflection on one carol or hymn.  I’d like to share these words of the carol I’m centering on this Advent and Christmas.  The words were written by Frederick H. Martens and the tune was written by Pietro A. Yon, entitled When Blossoms flowered ‘mid the snows.

 When blossoms flowered’ mid the snows

Upon a winter night,

Was born the Child, the Christmas Rose,

The King of love and Light.

The angels sang, the shepherds sang,

The grateful earth rejoiced;

And at His blessed births the stars

Their exultation voiced.

O come let us adore Him.

O come let us adore Him,

O come let us adore Him

Christ the Lord.

Again the heart with rapture glows

To greet the holy night,

That gave the world

Its Christmas Rose,

Its King of Love and Light.

Let every voice acclaim His Name,

The grateful chorus swell.

From Paradise to earth He came

That we with Him might dwell.

The text of this carol focuses our attention on the image of Jesus being The Christmas Rose and is a wonderful children’s carolI have pasted at the end of this letter a video of the Muree Christian School Choir in Pakistan singing their rendition of the carol recorded in 2008.

I encourage you to choose a hymn to focus on during the Advent and Christmas season.  Begin and end your day by singing or praying it.  I have found that it helps me to center in on some key images and ideas in preparing for Christmas.

Our Christmas Season Service schedule is:

Christmas Eve

4:30 p.m.     Prelude Music before Children’s Pageant

5 p.m.            Children’s Pageant with Holy Eucharist

10 p.m.          Service of Carols

10:30 p.m.  Christmas Choral Eucharist

Christmas Day     

9 a.m.      Christmas Eucharist in the Chapel

Envelopes for Christmas Memorial Flowers or Memorial Music are available on the table in the Church Entryway.  If you would like to give an offering in memory or thanksgiving, please fill out the envelope and place in the Offering Basin or mail it back to the Parish Office no later than 21 December.

Be assured of my continuing prayer and gratitude for the privilege of ministering among you.  May Christ, our Christmas Rose, whose coming we await, find a place of welcome in you this Christmas!

Faithfully,

Doug

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