Sunday, December 13, 2020

Sunday worship podcast links and other news...


Dec 13  Advent 3

Morning Worship podcast   Morning service sheet         Hymn words (both services)

Evensong podcast  Evensong service sheet

In Church
10 am Holy Communion
4pm Story Church
6.30pm Evensong

Please note that there will be no Story Church or Evensong on Dec 20 or Dec 27.

On Zoom this week  email for links

Zoffee - Zoom Chat at 11.15 on Sunday

Wednesday Zoom Church 11 am. An informal service including Bible reading, prayer and a short talk.
Zoom Children’s Choir  Wed 5-5.30pm  Fun singing with Anne Le Bas
Zoom Adult choir  Wednesday 7.15 pm contact for the link.

Advent 3

Today is the feast of St Lucia (Lucy) of Siracusa in Sicily, who brought light and love to those in darkness, just as we all can, whatever is happening in the world around us.St Lucy's day procession with candles and singing
Saint  Lucy ,(283-304 was martyred during the persecutions of Christians by the Roman Emperor Diocletian.  Lucy refused the marriage that had been arranged for her with a pagan nobleman, and in revenge, he denounced her as a Christian to the Sicilian Governor. He ordered her to sacrifice to the emperor, which she refused to do. The Governor sentenced her to death, but ordered her to be sent to a brothel first. The soldiers sent to remove her found that they couldn’t drag her away, even when they hitched her to a yoke of oxen, however. They heaped wood around her and tried to burn her, but the wood refused to burn. Eventually she was killed by a sword being thrust into her throat. Later legends say that she was tortured by having her eyes gouged out, which is why she is often pictured, rather gruesomely, carrying her eyes on a tray. Her cult spread very widely, and she is venerated in many customs around the world.
Her feast, on Dec 13, comes at the darkest time of year, and in Nordic countries she is celebrated by young women dressed in white robes with red sashes, wearing crowns of candles and singing the traditional Santa Lucia hymn. It is said that she brought food to those in hiding from persecution in the catacombs, and wore candles on her head so she had her hands free to carry it. Believe it if you will!


All Age ideas

Today is St Lucy's day, as well as the 3rd Sunday of Advent, which is known as Gaudete Sunday (Gaudete means "rejoice!")
Talk together about things that make you feel happy and bring light into your life.
Watch the St Lucy's day procession above - but don't try it at home. Candles can be dangerous! Think about the lights around you in your home. Why do you think light is important. 
Would you like us to pray for you?
Email your prayer requests to:
Your email will be read by Anne Le Bas and Kevin Bright, the Vicar and Reader of Seal Church who will hold you in their prayers. 

ANN BUTCHER RIP I am sorry to have to pass on the sad news that Ann Butcher died on Monday of this week, following a fall. Ann was a very faithful member of our congregation and involved in many aspects of community life over a long period, until she moved up to Coventry to be closer to members of her family there. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and with Ann’s friends in Seal, as they mourn her loss.


Next Sunday we will be holding an Outdoor Carol Service, at 3pm in the churchyard. It will last around 30 minutes and we hope it will provide a chance to sing some of our favourite carols together. We will be standing at 2metre intervals in the churchyard, but there is plenty of space, so do come along and encourage others to do so. Single use service sheets will be available on the day, but you will also be able to download the service sheets and carol words from the church website next Sunday.

Places at our Christmas services in church are going quickly, so please book as soon as you can if you want a seat. We can only seat 39 people in services at the moment.. Tickets are free. Please book via Eventbrite (links below) if you possibly can, but you can also book by phone or email if you can’t book online. ( 07510 522292) We want to try to make sure that there is space for those who want to receive Holy Communion on Christmas Day and those who may not have family or other visitors to share Christmas with this year, so please think carefully before you book, especially if you are intending to come with a group of people.
  • Please check that everyone you are booking for really wants to come, so that you are not taking up a precious space with someone who would have rather stayed in bed!
  • Please be aware that the services will be simple, said services of Holy Communion. We are not allowed to sing carols inside the church. There will be an organist at the Christmas Eve service, and recorded music on Christmas Day morning, and we will go outside at the end of the service on Christmas Day to sing one carol in the churchyard, but the services will probably feel very different to those you might have come to in previous years.
  • You will need to book a ticket for everyone in your party, including children.
  • You will be told where to sit by a sidesperson when you arrive, so that we can use the space most efficiently.
  • You will need to wear a facemask throughout the service, unless you are exempt.
  • Please do not come if anyone in your household bubble has symptoms of coronavirus, even if they are not coming to church with you.
  • Please let me know if you have booked and then cannot use your places for any reason, so that I can reissue your ticket.
  • There will be a recording of part of the Christmas Eve service, including a sermon, available online on Christmas Day as well as a special Christmas Day audio podcast which will include this year’s Christmas story in place of a sermon. There will also be a recorded Carol service (available on Dec 20) and Crib service (available on Dec 24) so there will be plenty of other ways of joining in worship with us if you cannot come to church in person.
The Eventbrite links are here:
9pm Christmas Eve Holy Communion
10 am Christmas Day Holy Communion the Christmas Day 10 am service becomes fully booked, I will repeat the service at 11.15 am, and I will create a new Eventbrite link for this.
Christmas online at Seal Church
You can find links to all our online services on our website and church blog.
Recorded Carol Service, with music from Seal Choir and readings filmed in church
Available from 6pm Dec 20
Recorded Crib service. Join us online to hear the nativity story and sing carols
Available from 10 am Christmas Eve
Recordings of the Christmas Eve 9pm service, and a podcast of Christmas Day worship will be available on Christmas Day.
Stories for the 12 days of Christmas
I will be releasing audio podcasts featuring stories chosen from those I have told on Christmas Day morning services over the years on each day from Christmas Day to Jan 6. Curl up on the sofa with a beverage of your choosing and listen along!
Advent Windows
Thank you to those who made Advent Windows this week – some pictures are on the church blog.
The coming week’s windows can be found in:
Dec   13th Robinwood Drive, 14th Church Street, 15th Childsbridge Lane (middle), 16, Bentley's Meadow, 17th Church Road. 18th Landway, 19th High Street, 20th Ragge Way
Come thou long expected Jesus

This hymn,  written in 1744 by Charles Wesley, was supposedly inspired as he looked at the plight of the homeless, the destitute and those who were orphaned in the areas around him. It is a hymn full of passionate longing for justice and  compassion, for the power of Jesus to change and heal the world in which we live.
The tune to which it is generally sung in the UK is “Cross of Jesus”  by John Stainer (1840-1901) a prolific  and popular Victorian  composer , most famous for the “Crucifixion”, a mainstay of parish church choirs through the twentieth century, and  still performed today. The anthem “God so loved the world” comes from this work, and the tune “Cross of Jesus” was composed for a hymn which is also part of it.

          Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
          born to set thy people free,
          from our fears and sins release us,
          let us find our rest in thee.

2       Israel's strength and consolation,
          hope of all the earth thou art;
          dear desire of every nation,
          joy of every longing heart.

3       Born thy people to deliver,
          born a child and yet a king,
          born to reign in us for ever,
          now thy gracious kingdom bring.

4       By thine own eternal Spirit
          rule in all our hearts alone;
          by thine all-sufficient merit
          raise us to thy glorious throne.

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

Prayer of the week
The middle of the night is the beginning of the day
The middle of need is the beginning of the light.
Not strictly a prayer, but these words are good to ponder in the dark days of Advent as we approach the longest night.
  • Have you ever been up in the middle of the night? What does it feel like?
  • Have you ever been  in a dark place, longing for light? Where  did  you look for light in those times?

And Finally...

Another of Dave Walker's wonderful cartoons.

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