CANON ANTHONY WRITES:-
After this weekend the cribs will be taken down, although if we were to follow Roman custom they would remain until February 2nd, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. For many people it may be the case that Christmas has already been ‘packed away’ for another year, and all, so it seems, is back to normal as adults go back to work and children return to school.
Given though what we have just celebrated: the birth of our Saviour, God coming on earth, it is perhaps worth asking the question: Can anything ever be ‘normal’ again? How can anything be ‘normal’ when we stop to think that Emmanuel, God-is with-us? God a part of our world, a part of our lives. We can dispose of the Christmas tree, the lights and decorations can be packed away, but the memory of Christmas should stay with us because it is a reality to be lived not just for the twelve days of Christmas but every day of our lives.
The birth of Jesus brought a light into the darkness of our world, it was a transforming event. Jesus continues to give us a light, especially in moments of darkness. May we keep alive the memory of Christmas, the reality of Emmanuel, God-with-us, and so allow our lives to be transformed every day of the year.
Our Christmas celebrations were, as usual, uplifting, joyful and well attended. On that note it would seem that our attendance increased by about a thousand people over the six Masses, and that is always encouraging. I can’t help but wonder what happened the following Sunday when the Mass attendance dropped to a little over half the usual numbers? There is an obligation to attend Mass on Christmas day, and on the Sunday following.
As always many people contribute to ensuring that we can celebrate prayerfully, and with dignity, and so enable our hearts to be raised to God. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our celebrations, to our servers, choirs, extraordinary ministers of holy communion, readers, and stewards, a big thank you for all you do so generously. And to those who keep our church looking so well, the cleaners and flower arrangers, again many thanks for all you do.
Finally, a big ‘thank you’ for generous Christmas offerings, as well as for the cards and gifts that you so kindly gave us. Fr Andrew and I appreciate very much the generosity, thoughtfulness and support that we receive, and we pray that you will have a happy new year, a time of many blessings for you and your families.