Category Archives: Weekly Letter

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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St Nicholas and the Virtue of Generosity

St Nicholas of Myra, our patron saint, is perhaps most remembered for his generosity. At a very young age he inherited a sizeable fortune. He is often depicted carrying three bags of gold to represent the help he gave to three young women who were at risk. Our tradition of giving gifts at Christmas has its origins in an earlier practice of giving children gifts on St Nicholas’ Day, the 6th of December.

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