“O Come, All Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant…”
For as long as I can remember this has been the carol that has welcomed both visitors and regular attenders alike to the celebrations of Christmas Eve. For many, the music, the decorated cathedral, and the liturgy itself are an integral part of their Christmas tradition. All of that changed last year when a resurgence of the coronavirus caused us to cancel our in-person worship one week before Christmas, a decision that we hoped never to have to make again. Sadly, that is not the case, for in conversation with our Cathedral leadership team, we have made yet again the difficult decision to cancel all in-person worship for this weekend and next. We will be offering a hybrid service of Holy Eucharist with Bishop Townshend and our Cathedral choir which will air at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow evening and be available over the weekend.
Unlike last year when the decision to close came the week ahead, this year we are only a few hours away from what we had planned for. My thanks to so many who have been involved in preparing for Christmas worship - the ladies of the Altar Guild who have once again transformed the sanctuary, the group of cleaners who gave us a little extra tidy, for the bulletins prepared, the music rehearsed and sermons crafted. Our St. Paul’s family is blessed by your faithful ministry.
While it is true that we won’t be able to gather in-person to celebrate anew the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Christmas celebrations will continue and I pray that you will mark it in your home and around your tables in a way that keeps you safe. I pray most of all that you will know in your hearts anew the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love which surpasses all understanding…
Merry Christmas Paul+