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The Samian Sibyl, by GuercinoHallo again to all.

From the Sibylline prophecies to High Street. Thump. Bump. Twelve days. And now Christmastide is over. And here we are the Sundays in or after Epiphany. Nearly everyone who set up a Christmas tree has taken it down by now, save those diehards who hold out 'til Candlemas. High Street, in this case in the Royal Borough

Brian Reid's change of liturgical seasons was bumpier than he expected, and he gives vent to the reasons why in his brief essay 'Liturgy and my Church'. On the opposite coast of the USA from Brian, Christmas gave way to a joyful Epiphany in Washington, D.C., where the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA and the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America celebrated jointly in a festival Eucharist at the National Cathedral in Washington. The service inaugurated the formal Concordat that now exists between the two churches and as you might expect the event garnered quite a bit of publicity. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, there's an issue about the coincidence of Christmas and Eid-el-Fitri. And in Australia, gearing up for its hundredth Australia Day, St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney will host a special service marking that country's 100th birthday.

Don't think for a moment that things were dull in the UK in the waning week of Christmas. Herewith a quick glimpse: 'Traffic jam on the road to Lindisfarne. Various attempts to fire vicars. Life after death for part of the Dome. More letters on the Third Archbishop. School prayer in Britain. New Year in Canterbury. Guildford canon rebuts Simon Jenkins'. You'll find all the details and links in the News Centre.

Our New This Week section is, not surprisingly, a bit light this week. We suspect that too much Christmas pudding does not make for the making of web sites. Whether you've created a web site or merely found one, let us know. We're grateful to the eyes of our many readers for helping make our Anglican collection of links the best on the net. Wondering whether we've already listed a site you've found? Use our purpose-built search engine and find out. And use our morgue, the classic newspaper term for an archive of back issues. Often we have emails from readers wondering where this or that reference in a past letter can be found. (The most recent flurry of enquiries were about the lights of planet Earth, which we featured in mid-December.) Now you can check the contents of any of our front-page letters, going several years back.

The Three Kings, in stained glassAnd now it's back to ordinary time, if you will, leaving for the nonce the feasts and the pomp and returning to the everyday world that Our Lord came to save.

   When the song of the angels is stilled
   When the star in the sky is gone
   When the kings and the princes are home
   When shepherds are back with their flocks
   The work of Christmas begins.*

See you next week.

Cynthia McFarland's signature
  Brian Reid's signature
Cynthia McFarland
  Brian Reid

Last updated: 7 January 2001

* From Howard Thurman's 'The Mood of Christmas'