With such big and deeply serious concerns engulfing our world at present it is easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious. To find ourselves sinking or being oppressed by a sense of darkness and an encircling gloom.

It is why festivals, community celebrations, twinkling lights, the singing of familiar carols, traditions and rituals, are all so important to human lives. They anchor us in a sense of belonging and solidarity, they give us the perspective of a span of years, way beyond ourselves. They kindle joy and hope in our hearts.

It is something this cathedral does in buckets and it is why the vision of the cathedral blazing brightly in the darkness is such a source of comfort and a sense of homecoming. It speaks to us of longevity, stability, hope and history.

Here in this place we gather to enact the story of the Christian faith, the story of God with us, in our celebrations and triumphs and in our moments of shared uncertainty or sorrow. We hear the message of the angels to Mary, to the Shepherds and to us: “do not be afraid.” Words of good news of great joy, the announcement of a reign of peace and goodwill, of salvation and rescue, through the immensity of God’s love made known in our midst in the gift of Jesus Christ.

What is so beautiful about this message of hope and reassurance, is that it is revealed to us so humbly in the small wonder of a vulnerable new-born baby, in a bright mysterious star and in the astonishment of ordinary workers on a night shift on the hills of Bethlehem.

The Christmas gift we celebrate is the promise of a God who is with us even in the mess and the darkness. God, who in sending the child Jesus demonstrated a passion and commitment to the flourishing and transformation of all creation.

Christmas will be different this year, simpler and smaller, but the message is no less profound. In some ways it puts us in touch with different aspects of the story. Mary far from her parents and siblings, having to make do with an environment that was makeshift and far from ideal for the birth of her child and soon to be chased into exile along with Joseph.

As we ponder the message of the angels “Do not be afraid, I bring good news of great joy!” may you know the peace of Christ in your hearts and homes this Christmas. A Christmas which feels like no other we have known.

DEAN CHRISTINE

Worship & Mission

Christmas Services
There will be four services of Lessons and Carols this year, from 21 to 24 December at 4pm. These, along with Midnight Mass and the Christmas Day services are ticketed to manage social distancing requirements.

There are now only a very limited number of seats available on our website and we do ask that you do not come to the Cathedral if you don’t have a ticket as there will not be additional seats available on the day.

Orders of service for our Christmas services are available to download from the website: https://lincolncathedral.com/worship-music/home-worship-resources/orders-of-service/

Stillpoint
Stillpoint will meet on Saturday 9 January in the retro-choir from 9am to 9.45am. Entrance via the Judgement Porch.

This is a time of guided silent prayer where we can be aware of the presence of God. By being still before God we offer up ourselves, to listen to him, to gaze at the wonder and mystery of our world, to refresh and renew ourselves in his presence. Led by Revd Ann Mazur.

Community

Thank you from the Former Subdean
Dear Friends, I am writing to say a heartfelt thank you for the generosity I have received over the last few days and weeks prior to my leaving Lincoln Cathedral as your Subdean. Thank you for the many gifts that I have received – not least on my final Sunday – and thank you for the kind words written and spoken over the last month. It has been my privilege to serve at the Cathedral over the last nine years, I thank you for your support over that time and will always be grateful for those gifted and talented people that I have had the pleasure to work alongside. Please be assured of my prayers and best wishes for the Cathedral community as we travel forward into God’s future.
Canon John Patrick

Welcome
Following his installation on Friday 18 December, we warmly welcome the Revd Canon Nick Brown to his new role as Precentor.
As a residentiary canon and a chapter member, Nick will have responsibility for the worship and music in the Cathedral.

Welcome back
We are pleased to welcome Revd Rachel Revely back to the Cathedral. She is continuing her placement at Bracebridge Heath, but will be at the Cathedral on a part time basis.

LCCA
The results of the elections held at the Lincoln Cathedral Community Association annual general meeting held on 7 October 2020 are as follows:

Mr John McNeill was elected to serve as Lay Vice Chair of LCCA and Chair of LCCA Executive Committee for a 1-year term

Miss Marie Crooks and Mr Richard Mazur were elected onto the Executive Committee for their first three-year term

Mrs Prue Chadderton and Mr David Ford were re-elected onto the Executive Committee for their second three-year term

From Mrs June Pallister
Secretary Lincoln Cathedral Community Association Executive Committee

Christmas office closure
While the Cathedral will remain open for prayer and services over the Christmas period, the offices will close from midday on Christmas Eve, and will re-open on Monday 4 January 2021.

 La Nativité
As Lincolnshire remains in tier 3, we have had to reschedule our performance of La Nativité to Saturday 30 Jan 2021. All those with tickets have been contacted and all bookings have been moved to the new date. Should you require a refund, please contact bookings@lincolncathedral.com

Bible Readings

Sunday 20 December
Fourth Sunday of Advent

Eucharist
2 Samuel 7: 1-11, 16
Romans 16: 25-end
Luke 1: 26-38

Evening Prayer
Zechariah 2: 10-end
Luke 1: 39-55

—–

Sunday 27 December
First Sunday of Christmas

Eucharist
Isaiah 61: 10-62.3
Galatians 4: 4-7
Luke 2: 15-21

Evening Prayer
Isaiah 35
Colossians 1: 9-20

—–

Sunday 3 January
Epiphany

Eucharist
Isaiah 60: 1-6
Ephesians 3: 1-12
Matthew 2: 1-12

Evening Prayer
Baruch 4: 36-end of 5
John 2: 1-11