Advent here: Christmas coming!

We find ourselves now towards the end of the commercial season of Christmas – the shop decorations will soon be coming down, and the till receipts will be assessed and a judgement made as to how well Christmas went.  But for us, we still sit in that slightly uneasy place of longing for the Christmas celebration, helping those who are already celebrating the secular Christmas, and striving to maintain a senses of expectation of what lies ahead – the nearly, but not yet of Advent.

Having struggled with this Christmassy Advent for several years, I came to my own conclusion – that I was not up to the task of trying to persuade most of society to hold of their own celebration of Christmas until Christmas Day.  Indeed, I have come to welcome it (whilst treating it as anticipation of what is still to be celebrated more fully, rather than the celebration itself).  However, what I have tried to do, is make sure that Christmas doesn’t stop as soon as the Christmas dinner is cleared from the table and the wrapping paper tidied away.  Instead, I try to mark out the whole of the Christmas celebration – not just the one day, but the full 12 days of the Christmas Feast, and the 40 days of the Christmas season.

The 12 days of Christmas provide a variety of celebrations that we can make – either together or on our own if we can’t make it to the cathedral.  There are the Feasts of Stephen, John the Evangelist and Holy Innocents – and of course, the Feast of the Epiphany on the 6th January.  This year we will be marking this with a service of Sung Eucharist at 7.30pm, with music sung by the Cathedral Consort, and seasonal refreshments afterwards.  Do join us – let us demonstrate that Christmas is not just about the tills ringing and the Christmas No. 1 – but about bells ringing and the singing of the new song of Christ come among us!

NICK BROWN, PRECENTOR

Worship & Mission

Weekly service schedule
The service sheet for the coming fortnight can be viewed on the cathedral website (click link to visit)

Stillpoint
9am, Friday 17 December
Stillpoint is led by Revd Ann Mazur and takes place once a month in the Ringers’ Chapel in Lincoln Cathedral.

It is a time of guided silent prayer to be still and aware of the presence of God. All are welcome to join us.

Future dates for Stillpoint are:
Friday 21 January 2022
Friday 18 February 2022
Friday 18 March 2022

Service of Lessons and Carols
4pm, Thursday 23 and Friday 24 December 2021
Readings and music for the Feast of Christmas, sung by the Choristers and Lay Vicars of the cathedral choir.

Midnight Mass of Christmas
11.30pm, Friday 24 December 2021

Sung Eucharist for Christmas Day
10.30am, Saturday 25 December 2021

Festal Evensong for Christmas Day
3.45pm, Saturday 25 December 2021

Seating at services will generally be unreserved (until capacity is reached)  However, some tickets are available in the transepts at the Carol Services on 23 December and Christmas Eve to regular congregation members (up to 6 for each party).  These will be available from the Vergers Vestry after services from this Sunday.

The Feast of the Epiphany
Thursday 6 January 2022

This significant celebration within the Christmas season will be marked with a service of Sung Eucharist at 7 30pm in St Hugh’s Choir, followed by seasonal refreshments.  Music will be sung by the Cathedral Consort.  All welcome.

Community

Songs of Praise
Just a reminder that BBC Songs of Praise from Lincoln Cathedral will be broadcast on Sunday 12 December, at 1.15pm and will be available on BBC iPlayer afterwards. The theme is ‘Festive Joy’ and it will also feature Lincoln Christmas market. Have a watch and see if you can spot yourself or any of your friends!

Adult baptism and confirmation classes
If you are an adult and interested exploring the Christian faith with a view to being baptised or confirmed at Easter, please contact the Chancellor, Paul Overend, on chancellor@lincolncathedral.com. He and The Revd Dr Julia Hepburn (the Assistant Curate of The Parish of St Mary Magdalene, Lincoln, and a regular duty chaplain at the cathedral) will be holding joint adult baptism and confirmation classes from the last week in January, 2022, using a course called “Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey”.

Sunday School
We are hoping to get Sunday School up and running again but need additional volunteers who are happy to be safely recruited and complete some training in order to support this. Could anyone interested please contact the Cathedral Safeguarding Officer on safeguardingofficer@lincolncathedral.com

Friends’ Christmas Card
This year’s Friends’ Christmas Card is now available and can be bought in person from the Friends’ office on a Wednesday morning, or from the Cathedral shop.  An order form will be available shortly on the Friends’ website for orders to be sent by post to the Friends’ office.  This year’s design features part of one of the windows in the North Nave aisle, from a photograph taken by Verger Jim Newton.

Sunday Morning Coffee
We all appreciate being able to meet for coffee after the Sunday morning service, but we are in desperate need of more volunteers to serve the coffee. With a full roster, you should only be called upon once every three months. If you would like to join the merry band of Sunday morning baristas, please contact Simon Crookall on 07922 602660.

Events

Carols by Candlelight
Wednesday 15 December, 7.30pm
Tickets for the annual Friends’ ‘Carols by Candlelight’ are now on sale through Eventbrite and can be accessed through the Cathedral Website under ‘Forthcoming Events.’  Tickets are going quickly, with well over 300 being sold already.  Do come and enjoy what will be a wonderful evening of Christmas music performed by our  Cathedral choir and organist and join in singing some of the traditional carols. Although we are looking forward to welcoming a real audience after last year’s live streaming only event, we regret that, because of Covid precautions, refreshments will not be available.

A Ceremony of Carols
Saturday 18 December, 2pm and 7pm
Performed by the Lincoln Cathedral Youth Choir and harpist Thea Maund.

Both performances of this classic, festive favourite, take place in the stunning Cathedral Chapter House.

Olivier Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur, Colin Walsh
Saturday 8 January 2022, 7pm
Olivier Messiaen’s 1935 masterpiece is considered to be one of the greatest Organ compositions of all time. La Nativité du Seigneur is a Christmas tradition at Lincoln Cathedral and one not to be missed.

Secret Symphony presents: Interstellar
Saturday 26 February, 7.30pm
Secret Symphony’s 50-Piece Limelight Orchestra return to the most wonderful Lincoln Cathedral to perform an exclusive and enhanced ‘one night only’ show celebrating all things space, stars and Interstellar under Luke Jerram’s ‘The Museum Of The Moon’.

A reimagined soundtrack that includes such ‘stellar’ tracks from David Bowie, Coldplay, Muse, Public Service Broadcasting, ELO, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Jamiroquai, Daft Punk, Elton John and many, many more.

For more events, extra details and to book tickets, please visit our website – www.lincolncathedral.com

Bible Readings

Sunday 12 December
Third Sunday of Advent

Eucharist
Zephaniah 3: 14-end
Philippians 4: 4-7
Luke 3: 7-18

Evening Prayer
Isaiah 35
Luke 1: 57-66 [67-end]

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Sunday 19 December
Fourth Sunday of Advent

Eucharist
Micah 5: 2-5a
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1: 39-45 [46-55]

Evening Prayer
Isaiah 10: 33-11:10
Matthew 1: 18-end

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Sunday 26 December
First Sunday of Christmas

Eucharist
Acts 7: 51-end
Galatians 2: 16b-20
Matthew 10:17-22

Evening Prayer
Genesis 4: 1-10
Matthew 23: 34-end

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