‘Why are we waiting?’ ‘How much further?’
How many times have you asked, or been asked these questions? When? Where? On the way to something? We sit in station or surgery waiting rooms, irritated by wasting our time having to wait. Some people say that in the 21st Century people don’t have the patience or attention span to wait well – or at all. Whilst there might be a grain of truth in this, I suspect that it is part of the human condition that we are impatient, that we see waiting as pointless and want to be in the appointment, on the train, celebrating the birthday or at our destination.
Why don’t we like waiting? I think it forces us to engage with the difficult questions we are dealing with but perhaps choose to ignore. We like to be masters or mistresses of our own destinies. In music we need to hear a resolved chord at the end, we want to have achieved, finished things properly. Waiting gets in the way. Waiting allows for things to go wrong. Waiting can make us feel uncomfortable.
But is it all bad? It can be challenging, but it can be a time for growth. Advent is a time of waiting and watching. The word comes from the Latin ‘coming’, so we have to wait and watch for God to be born in the humble setting of a stable. We know Christmas will arrive, but we still have to wait. This is good because we get to journey again through the different stages of the story, imagining what it must have been like to wait for the birth of the Christ child. The Magi waited for a star to appear; Simeon and Anna waited. Mary and Joseph waited for nine months. The prophets died still waiting, so a month of our lives is not much of a sacrifice.
And the waiting is not passive but active – watching and waiting. As God waits for us to return to him, we wait for him to come to us. Why are we waiting? For the incarnation? How much further? Not long!
Canon Peter is at St George’s, Portsea this morning.
A Solo Dramatisation of St Mark’s Gospel 7.00pm by Stefan Smart in an up-to-date setting, with plenty of action, many moving moments, and some humour. Free, with retiring collection.
Services and Events The new editions of The List and our Monthly Events listing are available in the Cathedral or on the website.
Members of Portsmouth Cathedral’s Music Department have been teaching Christmas carols in seven schools across the city and further afield in the diocese this week, ahead of concerts coming up in early December.
Changes to services During the week we will now be saying Morning Prayer at 7.40am and celebrating Holy Communion together at 8.00am. As before, people are more than welcome to join us. This Friday there will not be a midday Holy Communion service.
Spiritual Counsel or Confession If you would like spiritual counsel or to make confession before Christmas please speak to one of the clergy.
Christmas Home Communion Please contact the Cathedral Offices.
Decorating the Cathedral for Christmas If you would like to contribute towards the cost of our decorations, donations for poinsettias can be made through the Cathedral Shop or Offices. The Flower Guild would also welcome help to decorate on the morning of Wednesday 20th December. All welcome - no experience necessary. Please contact Rosemary Fairfax through the Cathedral Offices for more details.
Cathedral Shop Advent candles and calendars and Cathedral Christmas cards are now in stock. The cards which feature detail of the Madonna and child from the stained glass window in Saint Thomas’s Chapel cost £2.50 for five with proceeds in aid of the Cathedral and the Friends and are also available by mail order.
Churches Homeless Action Churches across the city are collecting supermarket gift vouchers (£5.00 value please) to be distributed through charities which support the homeless. The cards will be presented at a special service at midday on Friday 15th December St Mary’s, Fratton. Donations can be handed into the Cathedral Offices or Shop.
Tree of Memories If you would like to remember a loved one at Christmas please write a message on a star and hang it on the tree in the Welcome Area. If you would like to donate to Christian Aid's Christmas Appeal, please use an envelope and put it in one of the Cathedral collection boxes.
Oliver Hancock’s installation St Mary Warwick 4.00pm 21st January 2018. If you are interested in attending Oliver’s installation please contact Tim Burnett in the Cathedral offices or sign up on the sheet in the Welcome Area before Friday 15th December.
Pompey Chimes The final edition of Pompey Chimes is now available for collection in the Cathedral and at http://bit.ly/2pCfsaN.
Silver Screen ‘A Miracle on 34th Street’ (1947) 2.00pm Tuesday 12th December. Our bimonthly film screening following Cathedral Lunch Club in Becket Hall. Free but please pick up a ticket from the Cathedral Shop.
Messy Cathedral A special Messy Christmas session will be held 2.00-4.00pm on Saturday 16th December in Becket Hall. Join us for an hour of fun and craft activities followed by the telling of the Christmas Story and a special Christmas themed tea. Suitable for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Nelson Consort 7.30pm Saturday 16th December. “Silent Night”. The eight singers of the Nelson Consort, under Director Oliver Hancock, offer a programme of music for Christmas with seasonal refreshments. Tickets £10.00 (£8.00 concessions) from the Cathedral Shop.
Annual Theme Launch 6.00pm Sunday 7th January. Join us for the launch our new Annual Theme – ‘A Journey through Time’. We will use the entire Cathedral for this inaugural event, featuring projections, a special performance featuring music from the Cathedral Choir, and other natural elements to evoke the passage and marking of time.
PLEASE PRAY FOR
All those in need including: Martin, Alex, Frank, John, Christine, Roger, Amanda, Vic, Ayu, Joan, and Rachael.
And those who have died: Gwendoline Hamilton-Swann, Alan Lihou (Funeral 1.30pm Monday 11th December at St Luke’s Church, Greetham Street, Southsea, PO5 4LH), and Diana Mitchell (Cathedral Funeral 12.30pm Monday 11th December) RIP.
For complete listings of this week's notices click here