Advent

30th November

A long time before the very first Christmas, preparations were already happening!

A bit like today – but not too much!

This wasn’t about shopping and lists – this was something much bigger!

A long time before the first Christmas, for some, a long way away from where the first Christmas happened – preparations were being made.

 Come – and find out ……….

1st December

December 2nd

December 3rd

December 4th

December 5th

December 6th

A New Offering

December 7th

In S1 or S2 our school choir sang The Angel Gabriel and a group of us thought it was funny to try to sing highly “flavoured” lady and got told off several times in rehearsals for having fits of the giggles but on the day, in the church, the mood was incredibly different and I got goosebumps and I found the whole experience incredibly moving.

Lesley

December 8th

Why did he come?well –

December 9th

As Advent brings us closer to Christmas, a hymn that explains the meaning of his coming.

December 10th

O Holy Night In adolescence I particularly remember cycling to St Gabriel’s Church in Clontarf for midnight mass one frosty, clear, starry Christmas Eve with 3 teenage school pals as we had heard the choir was excellent and they gave a carol concert before the mass from 11.00 or so. It was there I heard “Minuit Chretiens” or “Oh Holy Night” in English for the first time – which is probably my favourite. Carol. After moving to London, I’m pretty sure I heard “Oh Holy Night” again with my friend Duncan and his parents at mid-night mass at the Brompton Oratory. I’m not certain as the Oratory choir and orchestra used to perform high classical music at the major feasts of Christmas and Easter such as Mozarts Coronation Mass. but I certainly heard “Minuit Chretiens” on records at their home. Duncan’s mother was French and it was her favourite carol. Jerry

December 11th

For my wife Sheila who looks forward to that one at the watch night service! I like it too as it is fitting for Advent

Ken

December 12th

Mary, did you know? “It is an amazing carol full of wonder, and human emotion. The line “Mary did you know that when you kissed your little baby, you’ve kissed the face of God”, it brought a vivid memory of the over whelming wonder, miracle and thankfulness at the birth of my babies. I could appreciate a little bit how Mary may have felt. Just a lovely, lovely carol!”

Sylvia

December 13th

“Joy to the world the Lord has Come, let earth receive her King, Let evert heart prepare him room and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heave and nature sing” CH4 320 V1. Isaac Watts. The hymn whether read or Sung encompasses the appreciative and celebratory nature of our love, joy and peace in Christ.

Alison H

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06wcjlw?fbclid=IwAR3R8rQ7uUfJwG2vYXsk0jUD9Qq6L0UZVSSv1iJBojLtSRMiuIWW7gQTDRc

December 14th

One carol I find special is In the bleak mid winter but in particular the words “But what I can I give him Give him my heart” Christmas seems to be getting very secular with too much emphasis on the best presents we can get for our children, family and friends. Our presents to each other are not the important part but our present to God is what is important. Not costing us any money, the precious gift of our heart.

Jude

December 15th

To raise a smile or two

Esther and George Taylor

WHAT THE DONKEY SAW

No room in the Inn of course

And not much in the stable

What with the shepherds, Magi, Mary

Joseph, the heavenly host –

Not to mention the baby.

Using our manger as a cot

You wouldn’t have squeezed

Another cherubin in

For love or money.

Still, in spite of the overcrowding,

I did my best to make them feel wanted

I could see the baby and I

Would be going places together.

U.A. Fanthorpe.

B.C : A.D.

This was the moment when Before

Turned into After, and the future’s

Un-invented timekeepers present arms.

This was the moment when nothing

Happened. Only dull peace

Sprawling lovingly over the earth.

This was the moment when even energetic Romans

Could find nothing better to do

Than counting heads in remote provinces.

And this was the moment

When a few farm workers and

Three members of an obscure Persian sect

Walked haphazardly by starlight

Straight into the Kingdom of Heaven.        U.A.Fanthorpe.

December 16th

My choice of carol is Silent Night. No doubt along with many others! I have a childhood memory of our Brownie Pack being invited to sing carols to elderly long-time patients in the local Cottage Hospital. I was 10 years old and I have never forgotten the looks of pure joy on the faces of the patients. It reinforced the teaching from parents and Sunday School of the importance of simple acts of kindness.

Anne M

December 17th

The line from a carol that says it all to me is Love came down at Christmas. Sums everything up!

Isobel

December 18th

Something special needn’t be an old memory but can come to be a beautiful recollection from the recent past too. A local musician, now living in London, wrote this song which reflects sadness at Christmas get-togethers not happening in 2020, the people we have lost in the last wee while and hoping that this year will be different. Advent also calls us to hope in the promise that God is calling us to greater things and will be with us as we live them.

Veronica

Ring out the bells

December 19th

Sing out loud. Today’s choice comes from Matthew

December 20th

Belleau WoodThe great cease fire we all want across the world – but maybe fear gets in the way: yet when we work, sing together and unite voices and lives – well.,……I first heard this read as a poem at Moniaive Primary School. It became the main part of our Watchnight Service that year.

Christine

December 21st

These Christmas cards maybe don’t qualify but they’re from my favourite cards box so they’ve obviously touched me in some way. I love the vibrant colours and flowing lines with the obvious nod to stained glass. Images can often speak louder and brighter than words. The anonymous faces work well for me as they prompt me to think who these people actually were and allow them to represent everyone. I don’t think traditional art always portrays an image of Mary and Jesus in a way I can relate to, yet the stylised, faceless heart shaped motif speaks of love, life, shelter, growth and holiness.

Lesley

December 22nd

I keep a copy of the words on my coffee table to remind me of the wonder of it all…..inspiring and challenging.

Nancy

I could kneel with the shepherds as they come to worship you

I could give presents with the wise men, gifts of gold and fine perfume

I could join with the angels singing praises at your birth

But I choose to offer something more, a gift of greater worth

I give you the gift of my life, I lay it humbly at Your feet, Your feet

All that I am or ever hope to be I give to the One who comes to give His life for me

You gave me the gift of my life, You laid it humbly at my feet

All that I am or ever hope to be is found in the One who comes to give His life for me

Wondrous child, gift of heaven how we welcome you to earth

Wondrous love fills our hearts with promise as we celebrate Your birth

Wondrous grace come to save us, come to set us free, give life anew and

You chose to give Your life away saying I did this for you

You gave me the gift or your life, You laid it humbly at my feet

All that I am or could ever hope to be is found in the One who comes to give His life for me

People all around me are hurting, lost and cold

I hear their voices crying, see them reaching out for someone to hold

Your love can help them, give them hope and meet their need

Use this life dear Saviour, I will be Your hands and feet

I give You the gift of my life, I lay it humbly at Your feet

All that I am or could ever hope to be, I give to the One

I give to the Son

I give to the One who comes to give His life for me

David S Gaines Ruth Elaine Schram

December 23rd

My favourite is “O Holy Night” one of the most beautiful carols i have heard, the music and the words, especially when it gets to the crescendo “O fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices”

Isabel

December 24th

My choice has to be Once in Royal David’s City. When I was a teenager I was in the choir in St John’s Kirk in Perth. At the start of the Watchnight service, all the lights were turned off and the choir walked down each side aisle and up the middle aisle holding lit candles and singing Once In Royal David’s City. It found it profoundly moving and a meaningful start to the Christmas celebration. The memory of that feeling is still with me every Christmas Eve.

Elma

December 25th

When I sing this or hear others sing it I always imagine all living beings where ever they are on earth, just standing still and listening, gathered in complete peace. It was my Dad’s favourite hymn and I loved singing it with him when I was a wee girl. He sang it in German….I never actually asked him why as he came from Leith!, but I think he must have learnt that in Egypt during his National Service.

Barbara