I. Handel’s Messiah! After a long bout of depression because his music was not being well-received, and, in a fit of anger throwing a gift across the room, Handel spotted the word “Messiah.” Not leaving his room for three weeks, Handel sat down, in 1741, and began to compose this masterpiece about the gift of salvation. It premiered in London at St. Paul Cathedral, conducted by Handel himself. Of all the works he composed, George Frederick Handel will forever be remembered because of his inspiring and uplifting composition of the “Messiah.” It was a joy to attend the “Messiah,” directed by Dr. Constance Ford at Third Baptist Church last Sunday. Thanks to the following SSC members parishioners who are part of the chorus: Cindy Bornander, Ron Bornander, Pam Collignon, Matthew Constant, and Doreen Harney. Great job! Thank you!
II. Advent Vespers every Sunday during Advent! Vespers is the “official” Evening Prayer of the Church, as with people all over the world, we pray the Psalms, which unites us as a universal Church. Lasting not more than 30 minutes, I invite you to join us on Sunday, December 13 and 20 at 6:00PM.
III. Communal Reconciliation Service at Saint Stephen Cathedral will be on Sunday, December 20, the Fourth Sunday of Advent, at 2:00PM. If you have not had the opportunity to celebrate God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I challenge you to make time. What an appropriate way to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy, accepting the offer of forgiveness from our compassionate and merciful God. Our hope is that twelve priests will be available as confessors. You will feel comfortable: there will be a church full of sinners!! See you there!
IV. Epiphany Hymn Festival and Potluck: Again this year, you are cordially invited to a gathering in the church at 4:00PM on Sunday, January 3, for a Festival of Christmas Music (the carols and songs we get to sing and hear only during this season), followed by a potluck at 5:00PM; please bring a dish from your country of origin, as we remember the Magi from three different countries bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. If you can help, notify Lupe Ellis; she will coordinate the potluck part of our celebration!
V. Gratitude for Service: After serving for more than eleven years as office assistant for St. Stephen Cathedral, Ruth Ann Carrico informed me by letter on December 1 that she will be retiring from her position. Her last day will be Friday, January 29. As a parish, we will be honoring Ruth Ann sometime in early January; the exact date will be announced in next week’s bulletin. The staff will have a Gratitude Farewell later in January! Thanks to Ruth Ann for her dedication and service to our parish.
VI. Christmas Mass Schedule: Masses on Christmas Eve are at 4:00PM and 11:00PM (Bishop Medley); Masses on Christmas Day are at 8:00AM and 10:00AM. Liturgical ministers may volunteer to serve at the liturgy they plan to attend by signing up in the vesting sacristy or through Ministry Scheduler Pro. These liturgies are wonderful opportunities to greet everyone with hospitality and welcome! Let’s make sure that every visitor has a seat. Ushers/hospitality ministers are important all the time, but especially at Christmas; please be here well in advance of the Mass time.
In Joy and Hope,