Vicar’s Choice 11th December 2016

Here we are at Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, the season that announces the Church’s New Year and leads us to Christmas.
Our wreath is in place, our colour is generally purple for Advent, but today we change to rose both for the candle we light and for the chasuble I wear. This vestment was presented by our Mothers’ Union two years ago and is only worn twice in the year… today and Mothering Sunday in the middle of Lent.
We will be singing music particular to this special season of waiting and preparing for Christmas. Note that we do not sing the Eucharist setting (i.e., Lord Have Mercy; Holy, holy holy; Lamb of God) and there is no Gloria during this season.
On the topic of music, Not A Choir are taking a break until Monday 19th December at 5.00pm when we will be hosting the singers from our neighbouring churches to rehearse for Carols In The Square. Please make an effort to attend both this rehearsal and the event itself at 7.00pm on the evening of Friday 23rd December. Please remember it was our Parish that started this event for the whole town three years ago so a good  turnout from us would be good. And it’s very enjoyable and a perfect way to welcome Christmas.
As with last year, members of Hadlow’s Chapel Team, will be adding readings to go alongside the carols.
Advent is a season of waiting. Just because the commercial world hijacks Christmas and brings it forward for their own pecuniary purpose does not mean that we have to. In fact it is all the more reason for us to be firm in our resolve not to fall into the ways of the secular world. The people of the Old Testament waited many generations for the coming of the Messiah; surely we can set a modern-day example and wait four weeks!
In this spirit of waiting, our church Christmas tree and nativity scene will not be erected until Christmas Eve. (10.00am, if you would like to come and give a hand making our church even more beautiful for Christmas.) In the meantime we will use our Advent wreath to mark our time of waiting and preparation. And the same should be true of our own homes. Don’t do Christmas before Christmas… it ruins it!
Have you put your name(s) down for the Parish Lunch on the Feast of The Epiphany? The sign-up sheet is at the back of church. Please do not wait too long and end up disappointed [seventy-three folk signed up on the first day the sheet was put out!]. This will be the final Parish event for Trish and me so we really would like to have the company of the whole Parish. Also, I note the Vestry are offering a very good deal on price!
Mothers’ Union had a marvellous end-of-year service and party last Tuesday. What a wonderful bunch they are. A “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”! Prayer, food and frolics and all in daft hats… no wonder the group is so well supported, and growing… fifty-five people attended!
Have a happy and prayerful week,
Peter