The handmade card from my niece arrived - she always produces a card or decorations (or both) in beautiful cross stitching. This little church is particularly good and the earrings add a fine contrast in the photograph.
Every year there are new additions - at least one pair from the Christmas Market. The Russian lady has some beautiful stuff so this year I purchased a pair of ladybird earrings - last year it was miniature Russian dolls!
The "flashing ones" will no doubt come out on Christmas Day ... though there's usually a quick change during the final hymn ... somehow it doesn't seem quite "the thing" to have sparkling lights to distract during the service of Holy Communion.
We're in the last few weeks now of fun and celebration - many home communions - many visits - much laughter and enjoyment. While I always prefer the Easter season to the Christmas one - there's still the little child that loves to have a house full of family and friends and enjoy watching folk have a good time. Of course it is extra busy and sometimes the dog doesn't even get a walk ... but the joy of the season keeps you going.
The traditional Nine Lessons and Carols is being held this Sunday in Saint Nicholas'. That's special. I love the music, the candlelight, the old,old story ... It has the comfortable familiarity of childhood and yet the message comes fresh each time it is read.
Today at the funeral of a Godly older man it was good to remember the Advent message of Christ's return ... there is great joy in knowing that the one who promises to be with us to the end of the age is also preparing a place for us in glory and will come back to take us to be with him. This is one of the hymns we used at the service this morning:
Through all the changing scenes of life, in trouble and in joy,
the praises of my God shall still my heart and tongue employ.
O magnify the Lord with me, with me exalt his name;
when in distress to him I called, he to my rescue came.
The hosts of God encamp around the dwellings of the just;
deliverance he affords to all who on his succour trust.
O make but trial of his love, experience will decide
how blessed are they, and only they, who in his truth confide.
Fear him ye saints, and you will then have nothing else to fear;
make you his service your delight, your wants shall be his care.
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the God whom we adore,
be glory, as it was, is now, and shall be evermore.
Church Hymnal number 372
Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady.