Dear Cathedral Family,
This has been a delightful week at Christ Church Cathedral, as the Angel Tree gifts have come flooding in, filling to overflowing the library and entry hall of our office. You could call them all “gifts from St. Nicholas,” in honor of Nicholas of Myra, whose feast day we celebrated this Wednesday, December 6. That designation is used for gifts given anonymously to those we do not know but whom we love because God loves them. What makes them such special gifts is the love that inspires and animates them.
When our children light the second Advent candle in the wreath this Sunday morning, it will be the LOVE candle, we will say. They will go on to Children’s Chapel to rehearse their pageant for next Sunday (and then they will practice some more in the church after worship.) Meanwhile, in our worship time together, we will hear the words of the prophets who proclaimed the Messiah’s coming, an act of love supreme for the whole world.
Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., at the midway point of our Advent preparation, we will gather for our annual service of Advent Lessons and Carols. Although it will be live streamed, I hope that as many of you as are able will join in person (with nursery provided) for singing the hymns and praying the prayers that enable us to open our hearts to receive God’s gift of this season.
The eloquent bidding prayer that opens Lessons and Carols calls us to pray: “for the needs of the whole world; for peace and goodwill over all the earth; for the unity of the Church for which Christ died;…and because this of all things would rejoice his heart, … we remember in his name the poor and helpless; the hungry and the oppressed; the sick and those who mourn; the lonely and unloved; the aged and the little children.”
My prayer for you during this Advent time, whatever your discipline of waiting and preparation might be, is that it makes you ready to open your heart to the surprise and the wonder that love brings in its appearing.