Midnight Mass at St John’s

Ecce Ancilla Domini! (The Annunciation) - Rossetti

Ecce Ancilla Domini! (The Annunciation) - Rossetti

Early hours of the morning, I have just returned from Midnight Mass at St John’s, the Parish Church in the Lincolnshire village of Washingborough. My last carols of the year.

Nine Lessons and Carols at St Nicolas

During the service we were told the story of the two naughty boys.

They’ve lost God!

After the service four candles lit: One for my lovely but sadly mad friend Sian, one for Paulo Coelho as thanks for writing Aleph, one for Canon Andrew White who is back from Iraq but will need all his diplomatic skills on return as Iraq descends into Hell, and one for his lovely assistant Lina and all the people of Iraq.

Sorry Sir my dear Jesus , we came to you with, black gown
Christmas message from Canon Andrew White

The early Christians did not celebrate Christmas or mark the birthday of Jesus. To celebrate the birth of a God was seen as a pagan custom.

The festival of Christ’s birth wasn’t invented until 312AD, and not by a peaceful disciple, but by a military leader, the Roman Emperor Constantine. He of course being the self-appointed head of the church, a position now occupied by the Pope.

Constantine: The Man Who Invented Christmas
The origins of Christmas

The nativity scene was invented by St Francis of Assisi in 1223. It does not come from the Gospels as many falsely assume, but there is a prophesy of animals present in the Old Testament.

In the Bleak Midwinter is a poem by Christina Rossetti set to music by Gustav Holst after her death.

As our eyes and hearts look East, we should not forget Bethlehem today, an open-air prison surrounded by a security wall, 2.000 years on and still under occupation.

Fresh mood in Bethlehem, but little joy
Christmas in the Middle East
Israel blocks Christians going to Bethlehem at Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

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