O Come Let Us Adore Him

You see all kinds of people in church at Christmas.

You see the people who are there every Sunday. You see the old familiar faces who are gone away now and are home for the festivities. You see people who you haven’t seen since last Christmas. You see strange faces, visitors from the East and folk from across the road and people who wonder whether they might be welcome on this magical night when enemies are reconciled, debts forgiven, and strangers made welcome. The shepherds and the Magi, the young and the old, the angels and the saints, all gathered together under one roof and for one reason.

For the ancient story and the eternal truth that, in those days, two thousand years ago, a decree went out from the Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered, and so, frightened and far from home, in an outhouse behind the inn, a young girl from Nazareth, heavily pregnant, settled in for an uncomfortable night with her beloved, and later that night, unexpectedly and inconveniently, she was delivered of a baby of whom it was said that he would change the world.

Our God has come among us.

A very merry Christmas to all of you.



  1. Thought of you tonight, Beth, singing at the midnight mass. They only used the thurible for the half-five service for some reason but I imagined you in your wee white surplice doing your thing again. Joy to you — hope you have a wonderful holiday and aren’t on call…

    • I have been on call and have had the slightly insane pleasure of running back and forth between a hospital and a cathedral for the last few days, but I have actually had a wonderful day. Merry Christmas.

      • So glad you had a Wonderful day. On the wards, I think you can get the true ‘spirit’ of Christmas. Gone are the days when the surgeon carved the turkey on the ward for the nursing staffs’ dinner and the doctors waited on them. I’m glad you survived the incense at the Midnight Mass. I’m told it was a very fresh batch!

  2. Thanks, Beth. and I hope you’ve had a wonderful day. Full High Mass at Saint Margaret’s, Oxford for the Midnight. We were censed to within an inch of our lives. :-)

    • Thanks, Perpetua. I had an excellent Christmas despite being at work for most of it, and this evening have had Christmas Day in Newcastle.

      We were censed so thoroughly that I feared briefly that the Vice Provost might have his head taken off by a flying thurible.

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