All posts by Hugh Jones

Departing in Peace

Dear Friends,

“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.”

The Song of Simeon in St. Luke’s account of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, which we will hear on Sunday, is familiar to many from its place in the services of Evensong and Compline. When Archbishop Cranmer simplified the seven services of the daily office into two for the Prayer Book, he took the Magnificat from the evening service of Vespers and the Nunc Dimittis from the final service of the day, Compline.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

These days I find that fewer and fewer people say it that way. ‘Happy’ often replaces ‘Merry’, but I like the contrast between Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Happiness and merriment, after all, aren’t quite the same thing. Merriment belongs to a time of feasting and celebration. It can’t last for ever, nor is it supposed to. No one really wishes that it could be Christmas every day!

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