Midnight Mass at St John’s

nativity at Lincoln Cathedral

nativity at Lincoln Cathedral

I had not been to Midnight Mass before nor a service at St John’s, not that is if I do not count two weddings, thus a first on both counts.

I was tempted by a Christingle Service in the afternoon, curious how it compared with Christingle at St Mark’s a couple of weeks ago, but I could not make the effort to attend, so Midnight Mass it was.

I walked there in the sub-zero temperature, crunching through the snow, slipping and sliding on the ice. The church bells were pealing and the church lit up against the dark sky. The moon was shining brightly, the stars too in the dark sky.

The church was fairly full. It seemed little warmer inside than outside, though the Vicar assured us it was. I thought it was a very nice touch to invite the minister from the local Methodist church at the bottom of Church Hill to share the service. A very moving solo performance of Silent Night in German.

I thought of St George’s in Iraq. An Anglican Church with no Anglicans other than the vicar Canon Andrew White, many denominations and Muslims too.

Why shepherds? In The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho it is a shepherd who has the courage to follow his dreams.

On leaving a brief conversation with the Rector of Bethlehem today. Two thousand years ago under Roman occupation, today under Israeli occupation. Encircled by the Apartheid Wall, Bethlehem is little more than an open air prison. Christians, and even priests, are prevented by the Israeli occupiers from celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem. [see Christmas in the Middle East]

St John’s is the village church of Washingborough, sadly never open outside of church services and church fêtes and other special occasions.

It was a pleasure to be able to see in Christmas at St John’s

I would have loved to have attended The Messiah by Handel in Lincoln Cathedral. Maybe one day.

For my lovely friend Sian who could not be there. For Diane and Den who would usually be there but were Down Under.

Also see

Christmas Carol Service at St Peter’s

Victorian Christmas Carol Concert St Mark’s

Christingle at St Mark’s

Handel – Messiah – For unto us a child is born

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