The preparations are nearly there, just a few final tweaks and we should be ready to ease from December the 24th to December the 25th.
It has been interesting to reflect upon thinking about two churches and three congregations at this time. It can be all to easy to focus upon the church building that I see outside the windows every day, the one that is only 100 yards away.
The church that is nearly 30 miles away by road and sea has also been preparing, putting up trees, decorating the pew-ends, adjusting the (non-eucharistic) service for Christmas morning. I will be with them at St Paul's on Boxing/St Stephen's Day, once the Calmac ferries start up again after the Christmas break.
The church community that is 25 miles away by road are doing their own individual thing - next year will be a time of extra events and developed services, pastoral visiting and future planning. The snow had largely cut them off for quite a while. St Martin's will be in my prayers this Christmas.
But the church building next door? Servers (all four of them for midnight) are rehearsed, thurible technique brushed up, lighting sequence and subtleties thought about, gospel acclamations dug out and practised, hot beverage production offered and accepted. Decorations, the real tree, the crib, the stands - all have been beautifully arranged, and preserved in the deep freeze that is Holy Trinity. The frontals have been changed (which may change itself next year).
It's nearly ready to go.
Now something is still to be done. What is it again? I'm sure there is something...
Oh yes - a sermon might be appropriate!
Hope rises, like tattered sails…
2 days ago