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Dec
01
2011

December 2011

Dear Parishioners:

I have always enjoyed the month of the December. It is and has been one of my favorite months of the year. It is not because of the change in weather. It is because so many things happened in my life. I love the change in color for the beginning of the new liturgical year of the Church. I love the hymns Advent brings and how the liturgy invites us into a time of preparation both for the celebration of our Lord’s incarnation while we are preparing and anticipating our Lord’s second coming. On the personal level, I was confirmed on St. Nicholas’ Day, December 6, 1966. I was ordained a Priest on December 17, 1983 and will be celebrating my 28th year anniversary. Of course Christmas has always been a wonderful celebration. As I have stepped off the procession with the hymn “O Come let us Adore Him” for many years, it brings home the reality of the Incarnation of our Lord. Then of course there is that thing called a “birthday” that closes the end of the month and the beginning of our secular year. It is indeed a good month.

I hope December is also a time of celebration for you. There are many things going on in our lives as we prepare for the coming of our Lord, both for the celebration of his birth and the preparation of our souls for his second coming. The church would like to keep these important priorities in front of you and help you prepare. To begin the month of December we will have a very special Advent Lessons and Carols. I can say I believe it will be a very significant celebration on December 4th at 5:30. The Scripture this evening takes us through a progression of God’s grace and purpose. In addition to our excellent choir, this year we will have those fantastic harps and harpists who joined us last Lent. Our Hand Bell Choir will be joining in Lessons and Carols. In addition, a very special piece of music was written by a parishioner for bells and harps that will be played this evening. This is a fantastic way to begin the month of December and to remind ourselves, amongst the business of the season, our center, our life should keep focused on our Lord. While we hope it will do this, it is not for us alone. Invite your family, friends and neighbors to participate in this special evening. A delicious reception will follow the service.

On Saturday, December 10th the Staff and I would like to invite the entire Parish to an Open House. It will be at the Rectory (our home) from 3 pm until 6 pm. You are welcome to come and stay or come and go. The Open House is the staff’s way of saying thank you for all your support and help you have given us through the year. It is also a way to celebrate my 28th anniversary of my ordination to the Priesthood. No gifts or cards please, just your presence is the gift. We hope everyone will join us. If you have wheelchairs or walkers, we have a ramp to get you up the step in the back of the house. Don’t let that stop you from joining us.

While we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ, we must not forget those in need. Our Advent Project has already begun and will continue through the 17th. On the first Sunday of Advent we invited everyone down to the Parish Hall to prepare the boxes for the food to be given away. On the first two Saturdays in December we will be sorting and organizing the food that has been donated to be given to the families in need. On December 17th the food and gift cards will be distributed to these families. I hope you will generously support this outreach to our community of Arlington. It is a great way to let the hope and light of Christ shine.

Christmas is quickly approaching. We celebrate the incarnation on Christmas Eve, December 24th at 5:30 pm, 8:00 pm, and 10:30 pm. At our Family 5:30 pm Eucharist we will have the wonderful children of the Parish present a pageant as well has having our Handbell Choir. Our 8:00 pm Eucharist is a Rite II Sung Eucharist. There will be no incense at this service. At our 10:30 Eucharist we begin with singing of Christmas Carols and the Eucharist is a Solemn High Eucharist with incense. I hope you again will invite your family, neighbors and friends. This is not a night to be missed. It is the night for the whole family of God to gather for praise and thanks for the birth of our Savior. At the 8 and 10:30 we will again have strings accompanying our Christmas music. On Christmas Day we will have a said Eucharist with our own Dorothy Lynn Brooks accompanying with harp music.
I would like to call to your attention that both Christmas and New Years Day are on Sundays this season. I ask that you consider sending in your Christmas Offering and Sunday Offerings if you are going to be traveling or absent these Sundays. Your generous giving will allow us to meet some of our budget obligations.

As this year draws to an end, I want to thank everyone who has made St. Alban’s such a special place to be. May you be prepared to let the Christ Child enter fully into your hearts and lives. Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

In Christ,

Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2011/12/01/december-2011/

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