Dear Friend of the Cathedral,
At the request of a busy parishioner here is an executive summary of the contents of the newsletter.
- List of Christmas services and musical celebrations,
- call for stewards and bakers,
- Blue Christmas as a way of coping with uncertainty and fear,
- Corporation report to Forum,
- Search committee update,
- Closing of Trinity Memorial,
- 4 dates for your diary
- and a thank you from the Amnesty letter-writing organisers
And now here’s the newsletter!
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” – a Christmas song we’ve probably heard far too often in the malls, but the sentiment is true for Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus. In the cathedral this weekend Patrick will play La Nativité du Seigneur – Neuf Méditations pour orgue by Olivier Messiaen on Saturday at 4:30 and readers and musicians will take part in our annual carol service, The Words and Music of Christmas on Sunday at 4.
On Christmas Eve there will be services at 4 pm (a family service and pageant) 7pm (a French Eucharist with Bishop Mary presiding) and 11pm (the traditional midnight mass, celebrated bilingually. Bishop Mary will preach).
On Christmas morning there will be a Christmas Day Festival Mass at 10.am. There will not be the usual French Eucharist.
Please note that stewards are still needed for the Christmas services and also that Jean-Daniel is looking for singers to join the pick-up choir at the family service and bakers to contribute cookies to the refreshments after this service.
Midweek, Wednesday, Dec 21, at 6:30 there is a special Blue Christmas service which is the focus of our spiritual reflection this week suggested by Vivian. She writes “As the world stands numb and frightened in the face of atrocities in East Aleppo, of injustices far and, yes, near… this season of waiting acquires new depth. The Cathedral’s Blue Christmas service at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, December 2, is for all who find the obligatory merriment of the holidays difficult, who come to them experiencing loss or grief, or who wish to acknowledge the realities into which the Holy Child was born: poverty, homelessness, political oppression, and fear. As a spiritual practice this week, consider attending… perhaps with a friend …and read a longer reflection on The Longest Night with links on the Cathedral Web Page.”
Several of our parishioners have particular reason to be sad this week because close friends or family members have died. We send condolences to Peter Huish, Dru Spencer, Donna Riley and Gloria Hall.
There has also been the sad news that Trinity Memorial Church will close next year. Many of you will remember their current rector Joyce Sanchez when she was Vicar of the cathedral. For more information and an explanation for the closing please see the attachment about the closure.
Cathedral Forum met on Tuesday. A short report to Forum from Corporation is attached and is well worth reading. The items included are Christmas hours, repairs to be made to two arches, the date of the Annual General Vestry meeting and deadline for Annual Reports. In addition the report highlights some exciting developments connected to the capital campaign and an announcement that CTV is preparing a special piece on Christ Church Cathedral to be aired between Christmas and New Year’s.
An important item on the agenda was the parish Search Committee. Donna Riley reports “A first parish consultation was held at the Forum meeting on Tuesday, December 13, with about two dozen people. The discussion was lively and elicited many good suggestions and ideas, all of which will help in the writing of the parish profile – the essential document for recruitment.
There will be further consultation in January, in the form of a questionnaire. Parishioners and friends of the Cathedral are also welcome to send ideas, suggestions, or questions to the Search Committee via Donna Riley, rector’s warden and the committee’s secretary, preferably before January 10th.”
Some dates for your diary
Ø This Sunday you can visit the Fair Trade Kiosque in the Baptistery after the 10AM Eucharist. It will feature a special offer on fair trade chocolate bars – Buy 2, get 1 free – the perfect stocking stuffer!
Ø The cathedral reading group will meet on January 15 at 7 pm to discuss Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. An excellent suggestion for holiday reading when you finally get time to relax.
Ø January 15 noon. Newcomers lunch. If you are new to the cathedral community, please join us for a time of fellowship and a time to learn more about who we are as a community.
Ø Confirmation or reception: If you would like to be confirmed or received as an Anglican at the Easter Vigil next spring, please speak with Donald as soon as possible.
And lastly a thank you from Brenda Linn who sends “many thanks to the parishioners of all ages (5 to 95, almost) who stayed after the 10:00 service last Sunday to write letters, sign cards and draw pictures for prisoners of conscience.. Special thanks to the Hungry Minds contingent, who turned out in force again this year. Our 40 letters and cards will contribute to the Quebec running total of 8,000 letters for Amnesty International’s worldwide Write for Rights day. This annual deluge of letters gets results, saves lives, and even improves conditions for those who are not released but whose captors know the world is watching.”
The forecast is for arctic air alternating with snow. It makes me think of another Christmas song “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” but I’d rather brave the weather to hear our wonderful choir and organists and lift up my croaky voice to join in
Hark the Herald Angels sing
Glory to the new-born king
Let us pray for peace on earth.