CANON PATRICK’S 67th LETTER

Dear friends,

The four Sundays of Advent used to form a distinctly gloomy season in which the Church
seemed to echo the grimness of the darkest and shortest days of the year. We were called
to meditate on the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell – the only bright
spot being provided by Heaven. A slight relief was provided by the alternative themes for
the Second and Third Sundays which focussed respectively on the Bible and the Ordained
Ministry. Generally, however, we were meant to keep on wallowing in depressing thoughts,
until finally, on Christmas Eve, we were allowed to cheer up and begin to celebrate Christ’s
birth. It’s hardly surprising that in Brechfa the Sunday before Christmas had become known
as ‘Sul Du Bach’ (‘Little Black Sunday).

It’s a great relief that our approach to Advent is now much more inspiring. The four Sundays
are linked to the four candles on the Advent wreath. The first represents the Old Testament
Patriarchs, especially Abraham and his journey of faith. The second reminds us of the Old
Testament Prophets, in particular Isaiah, with his foretelling of Jesus’ birth. The third stands
for John the Baptist, the forerunner who proclaimed Christ’s coming. The fourth (pink)
candle recalls the Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord. There’s also a white candle at the
centre of the wreath, to be lit as we remember Christ’s birth.

Interspersed with these messages are our Christmas preparations. They begin, as always,
with the Advent Christingle and its beautiful symbolism that recalls the meaning of Christ’s
coming to us. This year only the children will receive Christingles, and I’m very grateful to
Mrs Val Kirby for arranging everything, and to ‘Fruits of Eden’ for the oranges. The following
Sunday is (providentially) St Nicholas’ Day and our Welsh Eucharist will focus on the stories
connected with that generous (and occasionally grumpy) Christmassy holy man. Our Nativity
Play is on the third Sunday, and on the final Sunday in Advent we shall once again hold our
annual Angel Service (specially adapted to meet Covid regulations), while in the evening the
Nine Lessons and Carols will take place on Zoom. It won’t be quite the same as usual, but
we’re never short of cheerfulness in Christ Church and we’ll do our best.

Many thanks to Dai Evans and Kristie our Curate for skilfully re-vamping the Christ Church
website. It is looking increasingly amazing (or ‘awesome’, as Kristie would say).

[SERVICES: ADVENT SUNDAY 29 November 9.15am CHRISTINGLE FAMILY EUCHARIST in
Church; 11am ZOOM EUCHARIST; 5pm ZOOM EVENING PRAYER; Wednesday 1 December
10.30am HOLY EUCHARIST in Church; SUNDAY 6 December 9am ZOOM EUCHARIST
(English); 11yb CYMUN BENDIGAID yn yr Eglwys; 5pm ZOOM EVENING PRAYER To book
seats and in case of Zoom difficulties please get in touch with Delyth, Kristie, Rosemary
Bowen, Malcolm Jones, or myself.] Canon Patrick

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