If I asked you to sum up the life in the cathedral during the month of December in one word, I wonder which word you would choose? Busy, perhaps? . . . or cold?!

For me, the single word which best sums it up would be ‘compromise’.

As I write, we are approaching the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Advent (from the Latin adventus, or ‘coming’) is a time of expectant waiting, and it lasts until 24 December. We are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas; anticipating his return to earth at the End of Time; and reflecting on our role as Christian disciples in pointing towards both of these truths. That’s a lot to contemplate! Advent is a season which very much has quiet reflection at its heart.

And yet . . .

I’m also writing just as the 2018 Lincoln Christmas Market is about to begin. At the same time as we keep the season of Advent in the life of the church, everything around us is rushing headlong towards Christmas – and, of course, that includes the many organisations who come to the cathedral during this month for their annual Christmas carol services. This year, the first of those took place on the second day of Advent, and from those held during the Christmas Market through to those we will host for schools, universities, public bodies and voluntary organisations, the sound of thousands of voices singing Christmas Carols will ring round the cathedral almost every day.

Keeping these two things in balance in the life of the cathedral during this month requires compromise. It also requires a generosity of approach on the part of everyone involved, and kindness to each other when exhaustion kicks in and tempers occasionally become frayed.

In a few weeks’ time we shall celebrate the greatest act of generosity the world has ever known, when God came into the world in the child born in the stable in Bethlehem and shared our life.

All of this is taking place against the backdrop of a deeply uncertain time in the life of our nation. Please join me in praying that the same generosity of approach – as well as a healthy dollop of kindness when tempers become frayed – may mark the dealings of all those who bear the weight of political responsibility in the days and weeks ahead.

Sal McDougall, Precentor

NoticesSupporting Worship and Mission Regular giving is an important source of funding for the Worship and Mission of Lincoln Cathedral. If you would like to set up regular giving to support the Worship and Mission, or indeed any other aspect of the Cathedral, standing order forms are available from the tables in the north and south Choir Aisles. These can be returned to the chapter office by hand, or by using the freepost address at the foot of the form. Thank you for your support.

Deans Advent Calendar Doors open every day throughout Advent at 10:30.  Come and have a look at which local community group is represented each day.

The Christmas ‘Help Hamper’ will be situated at the West End of the Cathedral, by the Font, until December 23rd. Gifts of Christmas treats including  food-stuffs (in date), toiletries, toys, hats, socks, scarves, gloves, will be distributed to Lincoln Community Larder and NOMAD Trust in time for Christmas. Gifts may also be left with the Vergers.

Confirmation Classes Lincoln Cathedral is planning confirmation classes for children in Year 6 and above. This is in preparation for confirmation at Easter 2019. If you are interested and would like more details please email precentorpa@lincolncathedral.com

La Nativite du Seigneur on Sunday 16 December at 17.30 Organist Laurate, Colin Walsh, plays Olivier Messiaen’s 1935 masterpiece.  This is a festive tradition in the Cathedral and not to be missed.  For further information and tickets visit www.lincolncathedral.com or phone 01522 504394.

Sacred Space Sunday 16 December 2018: Encountering Angels Sacred Space is a gentle and reflective service with time to wonder and a chance to explore. Come and use all your senses in the special space that is Lincoln Cathedral after hours. 19.00. Doors open at 18.45.

The Association of Friends Concert of Carols by Candlelight is due to take place on Wednesday 19 December. The Friends are looking for help with the supply of greenery, (e.g. evergreen, holly, ivy etc.,) needed to decorate the candle holders. If anyone is able to assist with the above and/or spare a little of their time on the mornings of both 19 and 20 December in setting up and taking down please contact the Friends office 01522 561648 or Sylvia Barbieri 01522 752456.

Christmas Eve Carol Service at 16.00 Cathedral congregation tickets: A limited number of tickets for the Cathedral congregation, will be available from Monday 10th December.  Tickets may be collected in person from the Vergers’ Vestry. Please note tickets cannot be pre-reserved.

The Snowman with Live Orchestra:  On Friday 4 and Saturday 5 January at 13.30, 15.00 and 19.00 the screening of the film accompanied by live orchestra and Cathedral chorister.  For further information and tickets visit www.lincolncathedral.com or phone 01522 504394.

Faith@Lincoln Cathedral Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 12 December at 28 Wragby Road at 19:00 for 19.30 when Jenny Valentine and Mark Hocknull are discussing the topic “Is humanism humane?“ The next meeting will be on Wednesday 9 January 2019 when the Reverend Gloria  Steadman is leading a discussion on a recorded conversation between the Reverend Dr John Polkinghorne and Canon John Young about Hawking, Dawkins and God. Further information from John or Jeannette Davies on 01522 528102.

Lectio Divina: Bible Reflection Group. The Chancellor is reviving and reforming a bible study into a new ‘Spiritual Reading’ (Lectio Divina) group engaging with the lectionary readings. It will begin in the new lectionary year, Year C, which begins in Advent and will generally explore Luke’s gospel. The first few dates are 29th December 2018, and 19th January 2019, all from 1600 – 1700 at 27 Minster Yard.

Spiritual Classics Reading Group:  This is an open group in which members read a book prior to the meeting, and discuss them together. The books we will discuss in the coming months are as follows. 12 January, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law (1728) and 23rd February, Etty Hillesum, A Life Transformed by Canon Patrick Woodhouse. 27 Minster Yard, refreshments from 10.30, discussion from 10.45 -12.00.

Stillpoint: Finding silence in a busy world. You are invited to 45 minutes of guided silent prayer in the Ringers’ Chapel of Lincoln Cathedral on the following Saturday mornings: 29 December 2018 from 09.30-10.15, and then 26 January 2019 at the new time of 09.00-09.45

The Resilient Disciple: A part of our Cathedral engagement for Lent will be with a new Lent publication by The Venerable Justine Allain Chapman, The Archdeacon of Boston. The book launch (a free event) is on Tuesday 22 January 2019 16.15-17.15, followed by evensong. Thereafter there will be reflective sessions in the Cathedral Centre, on Saturday 16 February 14.00-17.00, Monday 18 March 13.00 – 16.00, and Saturday 6 April 14.00-17.00. These will be £10.00 each, or a discounted price of £25.00 for all three. More information soon on how to book.

Bible Readings 
Sunday 9 December
2nd Sunday of Advent

Sung Eucharist
Malachi 3: 1-4; Philippians 1: 3-11; Luke 3 1-6
Isaiah 64: 1-7; Matthew 11: 2-11
Isaiah 40: 1-11; Luke 1: 1-25

Sunday 16 December
3rd Sunday of Advent

Sung Eucharist
Zephaniah 3: 14-end; Philippians 4: 4-7
Isaiah 25: 1-9; 1 Corinthians 4: 1-5
Isaiah 35; Luke 1: 57-66, 67-end

Sunday 23 December
4th Sunday of Advent

Sung Eucharist
Micah 5: 2-5a; Hebrews 10: 5-10
Isaiah 32: 1-8; Revelation 22: 6-end
Isaiah 10: 33-11.10; Matthew 1.18-end