Letter from the Vicar 21 December 2014

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s as we come to the fourth Sunday of Advent. Today we light the final Advent candle for love. It is appropriate on this day for our attention to be directed to the Blessed Virgin Mary and her love and faithfulness to God and to her son Jesus. Love is the foundation upon which the incarnation rests and everything else is built upon that.

During Advent we have been helped in our worship by the beautiful wreath which Virginia O’Donnell has created to adorn the candles which have lighted our way. These themes of hope, peace, joy and love have helped to build our expectation of the coming of the Saviour into our own hearts. On Christmas Day we will light the white candle in the centre to celebrate the birth of Christ. On the Sunday after Christmas and then on our celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany we will again light the wreath to mark the joy of the incarnation.

A particular welcome this morning to the Knight family as they bring Billy, Poppy and Ted for Holy Baptism. The Antiphon for today is O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light Eternal and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. The celebration of Holy Baptism, with the giving of a lighted candle to each of the newly baptised, indicates the dawning of a new day, and this is a particularly auspicious day upon which to be baptised.

Tonight we celebrate the Nine Lessons and Carols, a joyous expression of the coming of Christmas and one of the most loved treasures of the Anglican Church. At this time of the year I particularly appreciate the work of Paul Ellis, our Musical Director, and the members of the choir. The beauty of their musical offerings helps us all to lift our hearts to heaven.

Thank you to the Trumpet team for your sterling efforts throughout this year and particularly over this Advent and Christmas period when extra demands are made on you. I also thank Marla Hughes and her helpers for their generous work in leading the Sunday School this year. Today is the last day for the Sunday School until Candlemas on 1 February.

Yours in Christ,

Fr Andrew Starky

Christmas Raffle

The Christmas raffle will be drawn on Sunday 21st December, 2014 at 11.30am- still time to buy a ticket beforehand!

Parish Notices 21 December 2014

Parish Notices

  • Donations for Christmas flowers: please give to Marla Hughes today or drop off at the parish office by Wednesday.
  • CWS envelopes: please take one today; return it with your donation at Christmas.
  • Working bees on Wednesday: flower arranging and brass cleaning from 9:00 am.
  • Sales Table & Raffle: in the hall today after Mass. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
  • Book Stall in the hall after Mass and swap box in the lounge. Koha appreciated.
  • S. Michael’s School and the Sunday School are now on holiday until February.
  • Lenten Studies by Peter Carrell with snippets by Lynda Patterson. Order from Les Brighton admin@theologyhouse.ac.nz (341 3399).
  • Parish Facebook page: St Michael and All Angels, Christchurch Anglican Church.
  • City Mission: the need continues during the holidays for food and household items.
  • For Christmas they still need supplies for the Mission Dinner (meat, vegetables, desserts, soft drinks) and presents (unwrapped) for all ages.
  • Gifts may be placed in the Inasmuch Basket today or delivered to 276 Hereford St.

Letter from the Vicar 14 December 2014

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s on this third Sunday of Advent, which is also known as Gaudete Sunday. This word comes from the first word in the Latin antiphon and means ‘Rejoice’. So today we light the rose candle on the Advent Wreath for joy.

Over the weeks of Advent we prepare for the coming of the Lord in a threefold manner.

First, through reading and meditating on the prophets, particularly Isaiah. As we read these prophecies we become aware of the growing longing for a redeemer on the part of those who are oppressed, broken-hearted and in captivity.

Secondly, we reflect on the life and message of John the Baptist. He is the herald and forerunner of the Messiah’s advent in history. His words call us to conversion of heart and a genuine repentance, the marks of a ‘good’ Advent preparation.

Thirdly, since our redemption is based on a human framework, Advent becomes an important season to emphasise the Blessed Virgin Mary, who becomes the Mother of God. She is the supreme model of faithful obedience, as in her body she contained and sheltered the Son of God and safely brought him to birth. For this reason Advent has been called the season of devotion to Our Lady.

In Isaiah, John and Mary we find the longing, repentance and intimacy which provide us with the basis for our Advent prayers as we wait on God.

On Wednesday we enter the last week before the Vigil of Christmas, in which the seven O Antiphons are used. They are incorporated in the Gospel Alleluia of the Mass and sum up our Advent longings. The antiphons, which are described as the seven jewels of liturgy and pick up the titles of the Messiah, are: O Wisdom, O Sacred Lord, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Radiant Dawn, O King of all the Nations, O Emmanuel. The well-known Advent hymn with which we begin Mass today, O come, O come, Emmanuel, is a reflection on the antiphons.

On Tuesday we invited the school leavers to come for lunch in the parish lounge. The children greatly appreciated the invitation and our hospitality. Thank you to all who helped with the provision of the food and the serving.

Maranatha,

Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices 14 December 2014

  • Sunday School: during the 10:00 am Mass. Details Marla Hughes (960 0753).
  • Donations for Christmas flowers: please give to Marla Hughes today or drop off at the parish office during the week.
  • Working bees 24 December: flower arranging and brass cleaning from 9:00 am.
  • Sales Table: in the hall after Mass. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
  • Christmas Raffle: tickets today from Anne Ladd or from the office during the week—$2 each or 3 for $5. Numerous prizes including a trolley bag, set of coffee cups, vases, wine etc.
  • Book Stall in the hall after Mass and swap box in the lounge. Koha appreciated.
  • S. Michael’s School is now on holiday until 2 February.
  • City Mission Carol Service: Wednesday, 7:30 pm at the Transitional Cathedral.
  • Gifted: choose gifts for others from the CWS catalogue available at www.gift.org.nz or phone 0800 74 73 72.
  • Lenten Studies: Gratitude and Grace—Through Lent with John, by Peter Carrell with snippets by Lynda Patterson. $6 if ordered before 15 January, otherwise $7.
  • Order from Les Brighton admin@theologyhouse.ac.nz (341 3399).
  • Parish Facebook page: St Michael and All Angels, Christchurch Anglican Church.