From the Rectory
January 2008

I hope that you have all enjoyed a happy and joyful Christmas (I'm writing this a week before Christmas) and that 2008 will be full of love and fun and opportunity for you. So Christmas came and Christmas went...

And afterwards...

Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes-
Some have got broken - and carrying them up to the attic,
The holly and mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
Leftovers to do, warmed up, for the rest of the week-
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted - quite unsuccessfully-
To love all our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers.
Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we sent Him away
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.

W.H. Auden

Epiphany - 12th. Night: January 6th.

For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him... (Matthew 2:2)

On the feast of the Epiphany - the word comes from the Greek for manifestation or appearance, and refers to the showing of God to man- we celebrate the day on which Our Lord was shown to a wider public, and in particular when the Wise Men came from a far country to worship him. In Britain, its old name is Twelfth Night: it is the final day of the twelve days of celebration that mark the Christmas feast. It is traditionally the day for taking down the Christmas decorations. It is a Holy Day of the Church. Shakespeare wrote a play in honour of Twelfth Night. The keynote of the feast is fun and joy: Christ is with us, He is among us, a Child who is to become our Saviour.

Perhaps you sang the following song over the Christmas holiday. Did you know of the following meanings attached to each verse?
1st. day - My true love - God
2nd. day - Turtle Doves - Old and New Testaments
3rd. day - French Hens - Faith, Hope, and Charity
4th. day - Colly Birds - 4 Gospels
5th. day - Gold rings - 1st. 5 books of the Old Testament
6th. day - Geese-a-laying - 6 Days of Creation
7th. day - Swans-a-swimming - 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
8th. day - Maids-a-milking - 8 Beatitudes
9th. day - Ladies dancing - 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:23)
10th. day - Lords-a-leaping - 10 Commandments
11th. day - Pipers piping - 11 faithful disciples
12th. day - Drummers drumming - 12 points of belief in the Apostle's Creed.

Yours for Christ's sake.