I find it hard to believe that Candlemas marks four years since my Induction as Rector of St. James’: what a splendid liturgy that was! Today’s Liturgy will be very different, much more simple, and delivered via Zoom. Nonetheless, its proclamation remains the same: to recognise Jesus Christ as the light to lighten the nations, and the glory of God’s people Israel. Our task is still to discern how best we may reflect that light and that glory, now in these wearying times of Covid-19 and the relentless Opioid overdose crisis. Our good news remains that even in the darkness, God-is-with-us, sharing in the loneliness and isolation, yet shining with the light that the darkness cannot overcome.
The Revd Peter Smyth, Senior Port Chaplain at the Mission to Seafarers, has written to thank the parish for its support this past year, and particularly over the Christmas period. He writes, “The last year has not been an easy time for any of us. For the seafarers that most certainly has been the case. Their already stressful work environment too often now offers little or no shore leave. The uncertainty of when they will actually be able to return home, ever after 10+ months at sea, only adds to their sense of isolation and distance from family.
“What made Christmas at Sea so important in 2020 was that we were able to share some joy and let the seafarers know that they have not been forgotten and are not alone. Practically speaking, we took gifts to 68 ships including those at anchor and so your generosity and kindness reached many seafarers who could use both. Your donation made this possible.”
Download the service booklet here: Liturgy at Home Presentation of the Lord Jan 31 2021