Living Eucharist

Altar Bethlehem

The Collect on Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Advent, acknowledged the joy of the Sunday, Gaudete Sunday. It also reminded that this joy is not a frivolous joy: it is joy generated by the gift of life, hard won for us by Christ.

O God, who see how your people
faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity,
enable us, we pray,
to attain the joys of so great a salvation
and to celebrate them always
with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Rejoicing and solemnity do not always go together well. But in our best Christmas carols the wonder and joy at the birth of Christ is tempered by the memory of the sacrifice that he offers. A sacrifice we welcome, but a sacrifice…

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