The coming church year’s Gospel is the Gospel of St Matthew.
Would you like to know what Matthew had in mind when he was writing? Who he was writing to and what was his particular emphasis?
What does it have to say to me in 2013?
On alternate Tuesdays we are making a journey through this remarkable story of Jesus. We meet in my apartment in the West End on Tuesdays at 7.30pm. Please phone the office for more information and to confirm your attendance.
The session lasts for about an hour and there are refreshments supplied.
The next dates is December 17th (no more Wednesday meetings). We shall then take a break until January 21st.
2nd Sunday of Advent, December 8st 2013
Advent is a season of expectation and preparation, as the Church prepares to celebrate the coming (adventus ) of Christ in his incarnation, and also looks ahead to his final advent as judge at the end of time. The readings and liturgies not only direct us towards Christ’s birth; they also challenge the modern reluctance to confront the theme of divine judgement:
"Every eye shall now behold him robed in dreadful majesty." Charles Wesley
The Four Last Things – Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell – have been traditional themes for Advent meditation. The characteristic note of Advent is therefore expectation, rather than penitence, although the character of the season is easily coloured by an analogy with Lent. The anticipation of Christmas under commercial pressure has also made it harder to sustain the appropriate sense of alert watchfulness, but the fundamental Advent prayer remains ‘Maranatha’ – ‘Our Lord, come’ (1 Corinthians 16.22).
Church decorations are simple and spare, and purple is the traditional liturgical colour. In the northern hemisphere, the Advent season falls at the darkest time of the year, and the natural symbols of darkness and light are powerfully at work throughout Advent and Christmas. The lighting of candles on an Advent wreath was imported into Canada from northern Europe and is now a common practice.
The Third Sunday of Advent was observed in medieval times as a splash of colour in the restrained atmosphere of Advent (Gaudete or ‘Rose Sunday’), and the last days of Advent were marked by the sequence of Great ‘O’ Antiphons, which continue to inspire modern Advent hymns and meditations.
Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21.28
Annual Vestry Meeting
February 26, 2014 7:00pm
All members of St John’s Shaughnessy are encouraged to attend.
I never knew that
Tell us about the Advent Wreath
The Advent Wreath has four red or blue candles in a ring around a white or gold candle. Alternatively, there may be three purple candles, reflecting the liturgical colour for Advent, with a pink candle for the Third Sunday, when rose-pink vestments are traditionally worn.
The first candle is lit on Advent Sunday; additional ones are lit, one on each Sunday, and the white one on Christmas Day.
The new candle each week may appropriately be lit before the Prayers of Penitence by one of our children.
All five candles may appropriately be alight during services through the Christmas season.
There are several traditions about the meaning or theme of each candle. The scheme that accords best with the Anglican understanding is:
Advent 1 The Patriarchs
Advent 2 The Prophets
Advent 3 John the Baptist
Advent 4 The Virgin Mary
Christmas Day The Christ
Each of the four Sundays then reminds us of those who prepared for the coming of Christ. ‘The Patriarchs’ naturally focus on Abraham, our father in faith, and David, the ancestor in whose city Jesus was born. ‘The Prophets’ gives an opportunity to reflect on the way the birth of the Messiah was ‘foretold’. John, who proclaimed the Saviour, and Mary, who bore him in her womb, complete the picture.
The prayers said reflect these four themes. The second, third and fourth prayers in each case are written with children in mind, and the third is to be said by the congregation together.
This week’s prayer, reminding us of all the Prophets:
God our Father,
you spoke to the prophets of old
of a Saviour who would bring peace.
You helped them to spread the joyful message
of his coming kingdom.
Help us, as we prepare to celebrate his birth,
to share with those around us
the good news of your power and love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
the light who is coming into the world.
Music this Week
Orlando Gibbons’ (1583-1625) “This is the record of John” is a mini-oratorio (a popular precursor to opera), in which the solo narrator presents – and the chorus echoes – a dialogue between the Jewish priests and Levites and John the Baptist. John declares that he is neither the Messiah nor the reincarnation of the prophets, but “the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness: make straight the way of the Lord.”
Children and families, if this is your first time to our church - welcome. Feel free to take part in our children's program, come down with the other children after the children's talk.
The Nativity Play on Sunday the 15th at the end of the service: Rehearsal (one hour only!) the day before on Saturday - time to be set as I hear from people today. Feel free to invite any children that you would like to be a part of this. This is a great opportunity to include families who would generally be reluctant to join in. The sooner I hear about little ones who would like to be angels and shepherds, the more time that I have to create their costumes. I can take last minute requests too. So don't hesitate to ask.
Thank you to those who have invited families and continue to bring them. (I know that some of you have families who live outside Vancouver; your prayers mean a lot too.) Your invitations and prayers are making this church strong. Bless you.
Plan for Nativity Play
Everyone will sing "Oh Come All Ye Faithful". As we sing, watch the front and the centre aisle. Children (and perhaps some parents) will be entering and forming the picture of the Nativity. The traditional name for this is 'tableau vivant". All you need to do is sing. At the last verse, you will see that the Nativity is complete. After the finish of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" parents, feel free to come right up to the front and take pictures. After a few minutes, you will hear a chord on the organ to signal that it is time to finish the tableau. The children will bow and exit the front.
Our Christmas Services
24 December - Christmas Eve
4:00pm Children’s candlelit Carol Service
11:30pm Midnight Mass (carols at 11:00pm)
25 December - Christmas Day
8:00am Holy Communion (BCP)
10:00am Sung Eucharist
26 December – St Stephen, Deacon and Martyr
(Approximate 30 minutes long)
The Disaster in the Philippines.
Typhoon Haiyan – Philippines
Thanks to the generosity of Anglicans and other Canadian donors, The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) received $215,000 in donations for Typhoon Haiyan relief as of November 28.
Long time PWRDF partners based in Cebu, Philippines have gathered information and assessed the situation in the communities where they work. 90% of the 60,000 residents of 16 settlements in the six municipalities they visited were affected. The need is still great.
The Canadian government has extended the time for matching donations given to registered charities to aid people in the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. PWRDF is eligible for the match. Monetary donations up to $100,000 from individual Canadians will now be matched dollar for dollar by the government until December 23, 2013.
Donations to the PWRDF may be made in the following ways:
By Phone: Jennifer Brown 1-866-308-7973
By Mail: Please make cheques payable to PWRDF, Syria Response
The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund
The Anglican Church of Canada, 80 Hayden Street
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 3G2
Please watch for updates on PWRDF’s response to the situation at www.pwrdf.org.
It's happening soon ....
Christmas Bake and Gift Sale TODAY
Sunday, December 8th from 11:30 am-2:30 pm
St. Faith’s Anglican Church
7284 Cypress St. (W.57th at East Blvd)
Baking, Mincemeat, Puddings, Preserves, Attic Treasures, Silent Auction, Handmade quilts by the Pumpkin Seeds Quilters, Jewellery, & tote bags.
Crafts by the Greater Van Gogos (Proceeds supporting the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s “grandmothers to grandmothers campaign”)
Musical performances by the Essonance Chamber Choir.
BC Boys Choir Concert: Christmas Magic
Dec 8th at 2:30 pm at St John’s Shaughnessy
Advance Tickets: Adults: $20 Seniors: $15 Youth: (under 12 yrs) $10. Call tollfree 1-888-909-8282
Tickets at the Door: Adults: $24 Seniors: $18 Youth: (under 12 yrs) $10. Visa, Mastercard, Cash accepted.
Essonance Chamber Choir Concert
Dec 14th at 7:00 pm at St John’s Shaughnessy
Admission by donation
More details at www.essonance.com
Corpus Christi College Chamber Choir Concert
Glory to God: Baroque and Beyond
Dec 15th at 3:00 pm at St John’s Shaughnessy
Tickets online or at the door. Seniors and children $15, adults $20.