First Word - December 2020

02/12/2020

Christmas is cancelled !! – Oh No it’s Not !! If you believe the media then this is the message they herald that because of the Covid 19 pandemic Christmas will be cancelled. They refer to the vast retail industry that has gathered around this religious festival. A festival which is central to the Christian tradition. As I write this in the second lockdown there remains the possibility that along with other faiths in this country where the festivals of Eid Diwali, and Hannukah have been kept behind closed doors, so the feast of Christ mass may also be celebrated behind locked doors as was Easter 2020. What is certain is that the Christian Church across the world will join with the town of Bethlehem to rejoice anew that God comes among us as the child of Bethlehem –to fully identify with our humanity. In December 1644 Parliament, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans endeavoured to promote a better keeping of Christmas which in that year fell on the last Wednesday of the month when traditionally a fast was observed. They decreed that the day should be kept in solemn humiliation and a recalling of our failings instead of the revelling and partying that it had acquired. No-one wants to be a kill joy but maybe the restrictions we are living under will help us to recall the true values of humanity and our place in the world; to remember that we need to tend and care for the spiritual side of our lives as much as the physical side and that the meaning at the heart of Christmas is that the Christ child is born – darkness dispelled; hope offered and love will be shared from a cross on Good Friday as new life prepares to blossom again on Easter Day. We hope that the services listed throughout this issue will be able to take place. We shall also try to record and release a short carol service on the evening of Sunday 20 December. Midnight Mass and Christmas day will be livestreamed. The Midnight services will be ticketed obtainable from the Church Office 01760 338552. For full details go to our Facebook page Nar Valley Group of Parishes or www.achurchnearyou.com or our own website www.narvalleygroupofparishes.org.uk Fr. Stuart Nairn.

 
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