The Rector writes ‘’Happy New Year… and also Happy Epiphany (carried over from yesterday!) and in this lovely season of Epiphany we could do worse than to soak up the words of the poet T.S. Eliot .
I have included the wonderful poem ‘Journey of the Magi’ on the back page today as I feel that it is really as good as an entire sermon, as they say ’There’s ateing and drinking in it!’ It was written after Eliot’s own conversion to Christianity and his confirmation in the Church of England in 1927, and was then published in Ariel Poems in 1930. Later, Eliot became a churchwarden at Saint Stephen’s in Gloucester Road, London, and he remained a lifelong Anglo-Catholic.
CONFIRMATION 2018-If you would like to be confirmed this year, please let the Rector know. Weekly Confirmation Classes (Saturdays 5-6:30pm) will start at the beginning of February.
Peter Stobart writes “For the attention of all Church Musicians, I have organised an afternoon of hymn playing for organists and pianists at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral on Saturday 3rd February. All are encouraged to attend and all abilities are most welcome! We will gather in the cathedral at 2pm and we will finish at 5pm. Tea and coffee will be served at 3.15pm.
Participants are all encouraged to play something (although observers are also welcome) and everyone is advised to bring a copy of the red Church Hymnal is they have access to one. This is of course also an opportunity to play the largest organ in Ireland! There will doubtless be discussion about the use of pedals, speed, key, old hymns versus modern hymns etc.
The session is also an RSCM supported event.
Thanks for your support and don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any further information about this event or about anything to do with music at the cathedral.”
8th Jan Toddlers Plus One 10am until 12 noon Parish Hall
Monday Club 3pm until 5pm Parish Hall
10th Jan Holy Communion 10:30am in St Mary’s Church
11th Jan Friendship Club 11am Rectory
Select Vestry Meeting 7pm Rectory
15th Jan Theological Book Circle 8pm Rectory
17th Jan Mothers’ Union 8pm Parish Hall
Special Epiphany Blessing
May all who come to our home this year rejoice to find Christ living among us;
and may we seek and serve, in everyone we meet, that same Jesus who is your
incarnate Word, now and forever. Amen.
A part of church history is the custom of blessing homes at the New Year. A family would hold a short service of prayer to ask God’s blessing on their dwellings and on all who live, work with and visit them. In this way, we invite Jesus to be a “guest” in our home, a listener to each conversation, a guide for troubled times, and a blessing in times of thanksgiving. “Chalking the door” or the door step may be used as a way to celebrate and literally “mark” the occasion. This morning, at the end of the Service, I will use the chalk to mark the lintel of our own two Churches with the symbols of 20 + C + M + B + 18 which symbolises the three Wise Men, (C) Caspar, (M) Melchior, and (B) Balthasar who followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and (18) eighteen years ago
The Journey of the Magi, by TS Eliot
A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp, the very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times when we regretted The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces, And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities dirty and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices: A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night, sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying that this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wineskins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down. This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.