With much of secular society now putting away the decorations, it’s worth bearing in mind that we are still only half-way through the twelve days of Christmas in terms of the church calendar. We celebrate the coming of the Lord through to the festival of the Epiphany, on the 6th of January (and beyond, of course!).
This Sunday we mark the naming and circumcision of Jesus. There will be an 8am Holy Communion in Lavenham and a 9am at Preston St Mary. The choir will be resting this Sunday after their heavy duties last week, so the 10.15 Eucharist in Lavenham will be said rather than sung…
…but we will have carols so you can start the New Year on the right note by coming to church and joining with us in our celebration of new beginnings.
Details of these services, the litany and dates for your diary in the week ahead are on the Pew Sheet for 1 Jan 2012
Christmas is, of course, a time for giving. But giving is not just for Christmas! In 2012, Lavenham Church will be running “Pound a week” club, employing teams of churchgoers and local residents to hit a target of £10,000. See below for details…
Jonathan D. Boast’s ‘Monolith’, which has been displayed in the west end of the church during early December has now been dismantled, marking the end of the official tour of the work, which has been shown in Westminster Abbey and Bury St Edmunds Cathedral. The art work and explanatory panels will continue to be used to recall the sacrifices made during the First World War and will be displayed at Dover Art College in the New Year.
Marilyn Stephenson-Knight and Simon John Chambers of The Dover War Memorial Project have provided a couple of photographs of Monolith in situ which are a fitting record of the exhibition in our church. The educational resources for the Unknown Warrior project are downloadable from Dover’s Virtual Memorial at www.doverwarmemorialproject.org.uk
This Sunday we will be having a special service of nine readings and carols in Lavenham Church at 4pm. As we draw near to the end of advent, the service should be a great way to get us into the Christmas spirit, in anticipation of thw weekend following.
Parish Eucharist will be celebrated at the usual time, 10.15, in Lavenham Church. Please click the link following to see the 18.12.11 service sheet
If you are in the mood for practising the sung elements of the service, details are provided below. New English Hymnal, I think, for the hymns…
Processional – 11 Veni Emmanuel
Kyrie – Mass in Three Parts (Byrd)
Gradual – Psalm 89 v 1-4, 19-27
Alleluia – Soon and very soon (Crouch)
Offertory – 186 Woodlands
Sanctus – Missa Penitentia (Hogger)
Agnus Dei – Mass in the Phyrgian Mode (Wood)
Communion – The Angel Gabriel (Trad. Arr. Pettman)
Post Communion – 9 Helmsley
Many church windows include illustrations of the nativity and Lavenham is no exception, but our window is not easy to find until you know where to look. Go to the east end of the church and look in the sanctuary, that part of the church containing the altar. There on the right hand side is a group of windows illustrating the infancy of Jesus. One of these shows the Virgin Mary, the infant Jesus on her lap, Joseph standing behind and three shepherds. One of the shepherds carries a lamb, the others kneel in adoration.
The familiarity of the story sometimes detracts from its significance. First of all, Mary is placed at its centre. This was unusual in the patriarchal societies described in Hebrew scriptures and in the Greece and Rome of Jesus’ time. Luke’s gospel contains many stories about women. The evangelist Luke also introduced shepherds into the birth scene. Shepherds were despised by the religious elite of the time because their pastoral duties made it impossible for them to follow the rigorous rules of cleanliness and worship. These may have been special shepherds. Lambs to be sacrificed on the Temple altars had to be perfect, so the Temple authorities had their own sheep flocks near Bethlehem.
At the 10.15am Parish Eucharist at Lavenham Church this Sunday, we will mark the second Sunday in Advent. There are four Advent Sundays before Christmas and on each occasion, we light one of the four Advent Candles in the nave of the church.
This Sunday we will also welcome in baptism Joshua Nicholas James Cave, born in September to Digi & Chris, members of our church family, and pray for God’s richest blessings on them all. We welcome also their wider family and friends including Joshua’s on this special day.
To see the pew sheet for this Sunday, with details of hymns to practise and bible readings to reflect on, please click the following link Pew sheet 04.12.11.