Once more we come to the end of another Church year and we look forward to the inauguration of a new year this Advent Sunday with the admission of Amber, Poppy, Edward, Ivie and Sapphira to Holy Communion and we welcome Alexander and Annabel into the life of the Church through baptism. Please don’t forget our 6pm evening service of Advent carols, readings and music, it is a great way to begin our Advent pilgrimage. It is also something of a meditative contrast to the commercial whirlwind which is the secular prelude to the Christmas feast. In order to prepare our church for the next few weeks we meet on Saturday from 10am onward to do a bit of church and graveyard cleaning. Cleaning materials will be provided, but if you want to work in the church yard, please bring along some gardening implements. There’s also sausage sandwiches to help us along. Our Wednesday lunch club, meets on Saturday for their annual Christmas party 3-5pm do come along. Next Sunday, the Children’s Church are going to the panto and on Wednesday 12 December we are going carol singing along Chiswick Mall. We meet at the parish hall at 7.30pm and afterwards will gather back at the Vicarage for some food and refreshments. It’s a great evening and we sing to raise money for the Church of England Children’s Society.
P.S Please take a look at this film clip on Youtube showing a previous curate of St Nicks who was also a biker! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yed2Qk3fAlM
As we approach the Church’s season of Advent this Sunday I was asked today about the symbolism of the Advent wreath. So here follows a very brief explanation.
The Advent wreath is traditionally made of evergreen foliage, signifying the eternity of God. Where possible this includes some holly leaves, reminding us of Jesus’ crown of thorns, and his subsequent victory over sin and death. The wreath has four candles round its circumference – three purple (this is the liturgical colour for Advent, representing a time of preparation and penance) and one pink, which are lit consecutively on each of the four Sundays in Advent. A white candle is placed in the centre of the wreath.
The first purple candle – to be lit this Sunday – represents the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) who trusted that God would fulfil His promises to them. The second purple candle represents the prophets, who longed for the Messiah to bring peace to the world. On the third Sunday in Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday (from the Latin, meaning rejoice), the mood lightens. We light the pink candle and remember John the Baptist as he leapt for joy in his mother’s womb at the presence of Jesus and Mary. On the fourth Sunday the final purple candle is lit, representing Mary as she awaits the birth of Jesus. The white candle at the centre of the wreath is lit on Christmas Day, reminding us that Jesus Christ the Messiah is the light of the world, fulfilling the hopes of all those awaiting His coming.
Wishing you every blessing during the season of Advent