Christmas? Almost here.
I was thinking this morning on how much easier it seems this year! And its mostly because Christmas Day falls on a Sunday...Every other year we have services tumbling over each other in the lead up to the big day.
I was reminded of my first Christmas in this parish. I had been ordained as a priest at Petertide. Within a week of being licensed here in September the parish priest went off long term sick. The rural dean told me to just carry on as though it was an interregnum, change nothing but stick to the agreed program!
This was no problem until we got to Christmas. In my diary was a frightening proposition....
Two crib services, one here and one in my last parish.
Six services within 24 hours....Add to that the incidentals like carols in the castle, the switching on of Christmas Tree lights, end of term assemblies etc and you get a frightening picture.
A dear friend from my last parish who happens to be a worship leader offered to do the crib service there for me....
An ancient priest here offered to do the nine thirty.
The rest were still mine plus it was the first Christmas with my new husband. I had to break the news to him that no turkey would appear till Boxing day.
By the time I'd done all the rest of the services I was very tired....but I was also very very happy!
I had done what I should have been doing all my life....I was bringing the joy of the Christ child into the hearts and souls of the people who were crowded into the churches...
Presiding at a Christmas communion is always special but that first year, confronted with long queues of people was a bit daunting but also very special....I was not alone in the sanctuary. I definitely had a helper even though no one else was aware of Him...
We do get tired at Christmas but we are also privileged people to be able to do all that we do....
This year I have a midnight mass and then the 9.30 ....and then we will open our presents before going to the local hotel for our Christmas lunch.
Now you know why I am a very happy woman.