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December 26, 2003

The twelve days of Christmas

Oh boy, I'm pooped. Evidence, if needed, is provided by my having prepared a posting - and then wiped it out by selecting "New Entry" instead of "Save"! Great thundering idiots!

I managed to complete my Christmas shopping by resorting to that great old standby - gift vouchers. Yep, I know, its cheating and it says that I really didn't give this present thing a whole lot of thought, but, at least I managed to find something useful for everyone.

As it was I got back just in time to rush off to the first of several services. The Christingle service is for kids, it centres around an Orange with a candle in the top, a red ribbon around its middle and four toothpicks with assorted dried fruit stuck in at the four cardinal points around the ribbon. It is supposed to represent the world, the Light of Christ and the worldwide nature of the Christian message. As a Fire Officer, handing these out to kiddies aged 2 - 16 feels like handing out primed handgrenades to the same age group. But, thanks to planning, supervision and hawkeyed guards at ever pillar, no one got burned, no one got hurt and everyone had a great time. With over 800 hundred children and adults in the church for this service, who says the church is dying?

Talking of which, we have had over 1,000 communions at three services (Midnight Mass, 0800 Said Mass and 1030 Sung Mass) in the Abbey and about a third more who came but did not communicate. Our sister churches around the town (there are seven other churches also reported full congregations for their services. In effect, more than a third of the population of this area attended a church service over the period Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, not a bad record for a country governed by cretins who keep trying to suppress Christianity, banning it from Christmas Cards, banning Nativity Plays in primary schools and "religious" themes from decorations in offices.

Funny isn't it, that I get several Christmas cards every year from Muslims and a couple from Buddhists who are perfectly happy to share in my celebrations with me, just as I mark theirs. It is really only the PC Thought Police in Whitehall who feel this deperate need to meddle, perhaps feeling, like Herod when he murdered the children in Bethlehem, that they might in some way be threatened by people hearing the message of Christmas.

Well, Christmas Dinner is now a memory, althought he wine I shared with the friend who spent it with me is worthy of a revisit (when I can find another bottle!), we can now start looking forward to the year ahead. I hope that it will bring joy to all of you and, for my own part, some resolution to some of the problems I have faced this past year.

Tomorrow I must do duty as a Chaplain and be available for those whose Christmas has perhaps brought something other than joy. It is sad to think that there are many who will have had a less than joyous occasion and I hope that I can help any who drift across my path to at least start to make sense of it all.

Well, better go - a bottle of wine, a friend and some TV programmes beckon. Thank God for the small pleasures of life, a warm and comfortable home, and friends to share it with.

May the peace of the Christ child be with you all.

Posted by The Gray Monk at December 26, 2003 06:41 PM


In general, if you type in a post and then hit new post without saving the entry, you can get back to it by hitting the back arrow (previous page in the browser) and then save the entry. I also find it helps on a long post to save as draft several times during the process. You may also want to look at the bookmarklet option which lets you open a little posting window separate to your main blog window.

BTW. Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Ozguru at December 29, 2003 05:04 AM

Thanks oh Great Guru of the electronic Order of Wizzardry! I am learning these things the hard way!

Posted by: The Gray Monk at December 30, 2003 11:57 AM