Recent silence on this blog has been the usual late Advent and Christmasss-tide mixture of illness and a little too much to do at times, or as Father Dougal said to Father Ted, 'great, what have we got today, Ted- Mass, Confessions and stuff?' One of the lovely things about the Parish of Elland is that we are able to observe the Liturgical Year without needing to keep moving Festivals to the nearest Sunday, which will perhaps, have made us one of the relatively few Parishes not keeping today as the Epiphany. Instead, confident of a reasonable turn out on Thursday evening, (7.30pm at All Saints since you asked), today has been the 2nd Sunday of Christmass, the first Lord's Day of the Year of Our Lord 2011, and has included a Christmass Wedding, as we have sent Andy and Emma on their way with a suitably seasonal and joyful celebration.
There are 12 days of Christmass, and I am doing my best to celebrate our Lord's Incarnation by continuing to over-eat and drink on each one of them; I would not be defending the faith in its fullness were I to do otherwise. We have duly observed the Feasts of S.Stephen, S.John the Divine, the Holy Innocents, S.Thomas Becket, the Holy Family and the Holy Name with faithful congregations. S.Nicholas has has rewarded me for being such a good boy over the last year with plentiful supplies of book tokens, some of which the good booksellers of the City of York have already benefited from, including a rare collection of Philip Larkin's prose, which has taken a lot of tracking down. I remain enough of a dinosaur to enjoy looking for books, rather than simply ordering from certain t'internet sites, and to enjoy finding unexpected ones in unexpected places. We have also been taught, as a family, not to take Sister Water for granted. She is, as S.Francis reminds us, 'most humble, useful, precious, chaste,' and was, for 6 whole days, held up by frozen pipes to the Rectory, meaning every last drop had to be carted over from a fortunately still working pipe in the nearby Church Hall.
Elsewhere the New Year, has already witnessed the usual range of atrocity and human hatred. Squabbling continues over the so-called Ordinariate, with a general lack of graciousness that can only harm the Body of Christ. Leeds United have continued to contrive to throw away winning positions and settling for draws, but at least the mighty Leeds Rhinos beat local rivals Wakefield 40-22 in the New Year friendly, meaning that the season isn't too far away.