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Week of December 17

The shepherds sing; and shall I silent be?
My God, no hymn for Thee?

The beginning of this Christmas poem by George Herbert is a call to join in the joyful worship of our new-born Saviour and with “all our powers out-sing the daylight hours.”

We are so lucky here at the cathedral to have many opportunities to lift up our hearts and our voices.

  • This Sunday at 4 pm we can enjoy music, readings and dance in the much-loved Festival of Lessons and Carols.
  • On Christmas Eve there will be a crowd of people joining the children when they present their Christmas Pageant in the first Eucharist of Christmas Eve at 4pm. This is a lovely, informal service. If you would like to participate by singing in the choir or baking cookies to feast on after the service, please speak to Rhonda.
  • At 6:30 on Christmas Eve there will be a Eucharist in French for our growing Francophone community
  • Christmas Eve ends with a glorious Midnight Mass (which actually starts at 11pm). I wonder how many of us remember the first time we were allowed to stay up for this service.
  • Christmas Day itself has a said Eucharist at 8 am and a bi-lingual choral Eucharist at 10 am.

The Oasis Musicale concert on Saturday the 20th at 4:30pm features Patrick Wedd playing Messaien’s meditative organ piece Nativité du Seigneur, a perfect way to de-stress after an afternoon of shopping or cooking.

You can find out more about all these musical events on Donal Ward’s blog : Warning – you may find yourself spending several hours clicking on his links and listening to performances of the music being presented in the cathedral!

Sunday’s Fair Trade Kiosque features a small selection of last minute stocking-filler gifts from around the world!

Christmas celebrations at the Cathedral continue with services for Epiphany (See the website ) and finish with a potluck supper on Twelfth Night January 6th at 6:30. Bring a dish, bring a friend, come and have fun!

Here is a heads-up from Rhonda about a short course coming up in mid-January:

BUILDING LISTENING SKILLS. January 12 & 27, 2015. This two-session participatory course will explore listening and attending to others–the groundwork of life in any group, and essential to every parish.  The course is strongly recommended for all in leadership roles, stewards, Forum and other committee members, and those who visit with others (including during coffee!) The course will be led by Cathie Macaulay, a well-respected teacher and pastoral animator, who developed (with Elizabeth Koessler) “Hearing God In Others,” the listening skills course taught annually at the Ignatian Spirituality Centre.  She has adapted content from that longer course and other trainings for use in with our parish.


Finally, I wonder how many of you know the story of The Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke?

It’s one of my favourite Christmas stories.

Artaban, a Persian, plans to meet Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar as they travel to bring gifts to new born king. He takes with him a ruby a sapphire and a pearl but he stops to help a dying man and misses the rendez vous in Babylon. His friends leave in their caravan without him so he must sell his sapphire in order to buy camels. He finally reaches Bethlehem, only to learn that his friends have gone home. He barters his ruby to Herod’s soldiers in exchange for the life of a baby they were about to murder. Now owning only the pearl Artaban continues to search for the king, having been told by a rabbi to look for him among the poor and lowly, the sorrowful and the sick. Artaban helps many people, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and visiting the sick and those in prison. After many years he travels to Jerusalem and learns that a man calling himself the son of God is to be crucified. He decides to give his pearl to Pilate in exchange for the man’s life, but on his way a young women pleads with him to save her from being sold into slavery to pay for her father’s debts. He gives her the pearl. The sky grows black, the earth quakes and a falling roof tile hits Artaban. As he lies dying he hears a voice “When I was hungry you gave me food … as often as you did of these things to the least of my children, you did them for me.” Artaban’s journey has ended. At last he has found his king.


The offices (but not the Church will be closed next week so there will be no newsletter) – so -wishing you all a merry, peaceful and sacred Christmas and a happy New Year.

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