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Cathedral Newsletter, December 14, 2017

Patrick, Patrick, Patrick & Patrick – playing Messiaen Saturday 4:30 pm, directing the Carol Service Sunday 4 pm, six Bach recitals 2018, AND a special invitation for Epiphany – Bible Study and Fair Trade Kiosque this Sunday (Dec 17), link to Rising Up blog and item about Fair Trade – Christmas market at St John’s Lutheran Church – Blue Christmas – Thank you from Eleanor – Crèche, flowers – Children’s Church closed for three Sundays – Are you interested in Confirmation or reception? – Reminder about pledges – Advantages of PAR – Times for Christmas services

Dear Friend of the Cathedral

Patrick Wedd, our Cathedral organist and choir director sans pareil is offering the community two special treats this weekend. On Saturday (Dec 16) at 4:30 he will play Messiaen’s “La nativité du Seigneur: neuf Méditations pour orgue“ and on Sunday at 4 pm conduct the Cathedral Singers in the special service of readings and music for Christmas. Messiaen, a devout Christian, wrote “La nativité” when he was only 27 years old; in it, he reflects in a very personal way on the story of the birth of Jesus. Patrick, also a devout Christian, is an outstanding interpreter of Messiaen’s works for the organ so this will be a very special concert.

Patrick and Amy Hamilton have put together a beautiful service of carols, some familiar to be sung by the congregation, and others more exotic to be sung by the choir, interspersed with readings from the Bible which narrate the story of the Christ Child and meditations on the mystery of the Incarnation by authors like Charles Gore, Julian of Norwich , Marie de l’Incarnation and Rowan Williams. Even while I was proofreading and looking for typos, I was deeply moved as I perused the bulletin this morning. We expect a full church, so come early!

As you know, Patrick is retiring in the early summer. We will miss him greatly, but can help him celebrate his last few months with us by attending a special series of Oasis concerts he give: six Bach recitals starting in the New Year on January 6 and continuing on the first Saturday of every month from January to June. Do put these down as red-letter days in your diaries.

And one last music item comes from Patrick himself. He writes to the congregation and to readers of this letter:

“Patrick and Rob would like to issue a special invitation to attend the annual “Music and Readings for Epiphany” on January 7 at 16h00. It’s one of our most beautiful services of the season, and something only offered by the Cathedral. As a special enticement, you are also invited to a reception in Fulford Hall following the service to help us celebrate Patrick’s 70th birthday and our 45th anniversary. Everyone is welcome.”

This Sunday will again be busy during coffee hour. The last of the Advent bible studies will be held in the side chapel about 10 minutes after the end of the service. Here are the readings and suggestions for discussion. (Linocut by Beth Adams from Annunciation.) There will also be the usual third Sunday Fair Trade Kiosque. Lisa Middlemiss wants us to know that this week’s Rising Up Blog has a piece about Social Justice at the cathedral which includes a section about fair trade and is even promoting the fair trade baskets we are trying out this year for Christmas. The kiosque this Sunday will offer a tasting of two new Divine Christmas chocolates – gingerbread and dark chocolate cranberry. Lisa also informs us that this year the Kiosque’s annual contribution to the cathedral will be a case of fair trade Camino coffee.

Joel Amis, a member of our congregation, is currently doing a stage [placement[ at St John’s Lutheran Church. His wife Yevgeniya says that the St John’s Christmas market will take place this Sunday and suggests that a visit to the market might be a good way to pass the time between the morning services and the Readings and Carols service at 4 pm. At St. John’s, there will be glühwein, hot Chocolate, grilled Nurnberger sausages, hearty pea soup, baked goods, artisanal food and handicrafts for sale. Shen she advises us to be sure to come back to the cathedral for the 4 pm service, do consider that, as a choir member, she has inside knowledge about how great the music is going to be!

If you find celebrating and merry-making a little tough sometimes, you are not alone.  This week’s spiritual practice is to take a moment aside, acknowledging the “reason for the season” with those for whom Christmas is especially difficult.  You are invited to reflect on “the longest night” and to attend the Cathedral’s Blue Christmas service next Wednesday, December 20.

Last week we wrote about Eleanor Porter’s 108th birthday. Greta Stetham called the office to say that Eleanor was very happy and appreciative of our prayers and thoughts.  She wants the congregation to know how happy Eleanor felt at being remembered by the Cathedral where she worshipped for many years.

This year’s unusual crèche includes a model of a UNHCR tent used as housing for refugees. The Cathedral is proud to be sponsoring a refugee family and we await their arrival in Montreal. Our crèche is a sign of this commitment. The figures, restored this year by Amy German, were first planned and assembled by mothers and children in the 1940s whose husbands and fathers were serving overseas in World War II.

Rob Wells is looking for people to sponsor flowers, both for the Christmas services and for later services in January and February. You can contact him through the cathedral office or sign up in the baptistery.

There will be no Children’s Church or Nursery Care on December 24th and 31st or January 7th. Children are welcome to stay with their parents in the pews or to visit our children’s chapel for colouring and quiet toys and books. We look forward to restarting children’s church on January 14th!

Confirmation or reception If you would like to be confirmed or received as an Anglican at the Easter Vigil next spring, please speak with Rev’d Amy Hamilton as soon as possible.

A reminder – the year end is rapidly approaching so please complete your pledges for this year and fill in your pledges for 2018. Our treasurer Jane strongly recommends donating by PAR, a method which is steadily increasing in popularity. In 2015, there were 24 Cathedral members using PAR, in 2016 there were 27 and in 2017 we hit 29. Jane is hoping to crack 30 this year! Could you be the person who makes this happen? PAR is a real time saver for the bookkeeper and helps with our cash flow across the year. It also means never having to search for envelopes or cash when you are already late for church or looking ruefully at the gap between promise and fulfillment in the last month of the year!

Just in case you don’t have all the services by heart – here they are again

Sunday 17 December 4pm  Music and Readings for Christmas     

Wednesday, 20 December 7:00 pm Blue Christmas

CHRISTMAS EVE Sunday 24th December

4pm  Eucharist for all the family & Christmas Pageant

7pm  Messe de Noël (Christmas Eve Eucharist in French) – With Bishop Mary

11pm  Midnight Mass –  With Bishop Mary

CHRISTMAS DAY Monday 25th December

10am     Festival Christmas Mass

There will not be a newsletter next week unless something important needs attention.

Please note that the opening hours of the Cathedral will change during the Christmas holiday. The building is closed entirely on December 26 and January 1. Other hours have been shortened; the full list of services and hours is here.

A quote (in translation) from an anonymous 16th century Spanish carol to be sung by the choir Sunday evening – Riu, Riu, Chiu – A thousand singing angels I saw passing, Flying overhead, sounding a thousand voices, Exulting, “Glory be in the heavens, and peace on Earth, for Jesus has been born.”

May your joyful Christmas include a thousand singing angels and may the New Year bring peace.

Ann Elbourne



To receive this Newsletter earlier by email, and with it, additions like the Forum agenda, financial updates, minutes and reports, posters, photos, etc., simply send your coordinates to the Cathedral office…  the failsafe method is to email both Newsletter author and parish volunteer Ann Elbourne  and Parish Administrator Elizabeth Shama  .

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