Today in the Spirit: Christmas 1B

Posted on December 24, 2023

The Church’s messaging on the Sundays following Christmas Day might best be summed up as promises fulfilled with more to come, or light shining with ever-increasing brightness. The Christmas 1 readings are the same all three years. It is on this Sunday that we receive as a Gospel selection the famous prologue to John’s Gospel,…

Hymn Guide: Once In Royal David’s City

Posted on December 23, 2023

The moment is magic. A hush descends as the Christmas Eve service is about to begin. And then a single child’s voice breaks the silence, singing: “Once in royal David’s city…” This tradition, first started at King’s College in its annual service of Lessons and Carols, has spread throughout the Anglican world and now to…

The True Story of Santa Claus

Posted on December 6, 2023

Is Santa real? Yes, he is, and his true story involves a 4th-century bishop, a 19th-century Anglican, liturgical vestments, and an altercation with a heretic. The true story is so fabulous, only the kids would believe it! Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus The name Santa Claus is a contraction of the name Saint Nicholas. Nicholas…

Today in the Spirit: Christmas 2A

Posted on December 26, 2022

1 John 2:6 says: Whoever claims to live in [God] must walk as Jesus did (NIV). The whole point of having church seasons with a set lectionary and common prayers is that year after year, we should “walk as Jesus did” through his entire life from pre-existence to his return in glory. So the church…

Today in the Spirit: Christmas Day A

Posted on December 19, 2022

Two days prior to the delivery of a package Amazon sends you an email saying, “Your package will arrive soon;” then again one day prior, “Your package will arrive tomorrow;” then, finally, on the day of delivery, “Your package has arrived.” It is all exciting; the early notifications play an important role in building up…

Nine Lessons and Carols: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Posted on December 21, 2019

The Anglican tradition has inherited many ancient pieces of liturgy, so it may be a bit surprising to learn that the Festival/Service of Nine Lessons and Carols (traditionally held on or near Christmas Eve) is a fairly recent invention, celebrating its one-hundredth birthday only last year in 2018. It was constructed out of the grief…