Notes on the Service...
...for December 21, 2014, the Fourth Sunday of Advent; Winter Solstice
RCL II Sam 7:4,8-16; Ps 132; Rom 16:25-27; Lk 1:26-38
Anticipating Christmas, the readings' theme is the Annunciation to Mary, and through her to all, that a new son of David is on the way.
The collect, from Charlemagne's mass book, prays that God will purify us, as he purified Mary. "Mansions prepared" alludes to Jesus' promise that he has prepared mansions for disciples (John 14:2), so we are to be prepared to be his mansion. "Visitation" alludes to Jesus' en-try into Jerusalem, whose residents did not "know the time of [their city's] visitation" (Lk 19:44.) Purified, may we know our visitation time.
The first reading and psalm glorify the dynasty of David. An excerpt from "The Prophecy of Nathan", promises that David's family (his "house") will be established over Israel permanently, and his son Solomon will build a temple (a "house") for God. The pro-monarchy parts of the Books of Samuel and of the Kings, as well as many psalms, promoted the belief that God the cosmic King anointed Judah's kings to be his agents on earth. Centuries later, European theorists of the divine right of kings could appeal to this Biblical precedent.
The royal Ps. 132 salutes God's having chosen Mt Zion and David and his heirs. The Anointed One in vv 10 & 12 would have been the then-reigning king. Christians would appropriate that royal title for Jesus: "anointed one" translated into Greek and Latin is Christos/Christus.
Romans closes with a hymn of praise wherein Paul asserts that prophetic writings [of what we call the Old Testament] held a secret which was unveiled to the Gentiles when Christ appeared. This claim match-es his mention at the beginning of Romans of "the gospel ...which [God] promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, [i.e., the Old Testament] the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh...." This indicates that although no extant writing of Paul has details about Jesus' birth, Paul must have considered it important that Jesus was of Davidic blood.
When the sun's light is lowest, we hear the tender story of Gabriel the archangel's telling the frightened virgin that the Spirit will conceive in her the Son of the Highest. This dramatic representation of the Incaration has been the subject of countless works of art, and the source of the Ave Maria. Mary's conscience was pure, so that, at her visitation, the Son could find a mansion prepared for him in her. As Ps. 132 said of Zion, the Lord "has desired her for his habitation; 'This shall be my resting place forever; here will I dwell, for I delight in her.'"
The Christmas Eve Service will begin with the singing of carols at 7:00 PM followed by the Christmas Mass.
A service of Nine Lessons and Carols will be broadcast from the place where the custom originated, Kings College Chapel, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve. In the Asheville area, you can hear it on FM 88.1, WCQS, at 10:00 AM December 24.
Noonday Prayer will be offered Monday through Thursday, including Christmas Day, at Redeemer.
The 12 Days of Christmas: Have you ever wondered how that song came into being? So did I, but I assumed that nobody knew, because nobody tried to tell me - before now. My cousin, Martin Bracewell, has published an article that explains the whole thing: Click the link, 12 Days of Christmas, to find out the truth. As you'll see, the annual calculation to determine the cost of all those gifts is a moot point. Those gifts are FREE!
Bulletin: Please let Maryann Presnell or the Vestry know if you feel led to take over the Bulletin Ministry.
PhoneTree: Please let the Bill Smith or the Vestry know if you feel led to take over the Phone Tree Ministry.
- Wednesday, December 24 – Christmas Carol Sing at 7:00 PM
- Wednesday, December 24 – Christ Mass following the Carol Sing
If you would like to become a member of the Prayer Chain please talk to Diane Jackson.
This Week's Schedule:
|Sunday|| 8:15 AM
Choir Practice in the Church
|Monday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Tuesday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
Carol Sing & Christ Mass
|Thursday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|