Anglicans Online banner More about the gryphon
Independent On the web since 1994 More than 250,000 readers More than 30,000 links Updated every Sunday
Will you help support
Anglicans Online?

The Paypal logotype

Noted This Week
Sites new to AO

News Centre
News archive

News flash: a summary of the top headlines
Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us by email
Be notified each week

Start here
Anglicans believe...
The Prayer Book
The Bible

Read letters to AO
Write to us

Resources A to Z

World Anglicanism
Anglican Communion
In full communion
Not in the Communion

Dioceses and Parishes
Hong Kong
New Zealand

South Africa
Sri Lanka

Vacancies Centre
List a vacancy
Check openings worldwide

Add a site or link to AO
Add a site to AO
Link to AO

About Anglicans Online
Back issues
About our logo
Our search engine


Hallo again to all.

Christmas Angel from have just returned from attending the children's pageant at a local parish. This parish chooses to have their pageant between Christmas and Epiphany. It's a bit different, but it has been a good thing for young families who juggle so many church and home activities on Christmas Eve. Between traveling at Christmastide to be with relatives and our own angels and sheep having attained adulthood years ago, it has been at least a decade since we have seen a church school pageant. We were able to sit and fully enjoy the spectacle.

The first thing we noticed as we picked a pew in which to alight was the large number of babies! When people tell us church membership is greying, we can fall into 'woe betide us' hand-wringing with the best of them. The evidence this morning did not speak of an aging congregation. Instead, we saw a thorough mix of ages from three-weeks-old to nonagenarians. And, even better, at the end of the service, we could see the older members of the congregation smiling and talking with the children and their parents.

The priest and church school teachers had wisely chosen to incorporate the pageant as the Liturgy of the Word for the Eucharist. The stories of the prophets, the birth in Bethlehem, the adoration of the shepherds, and finally the journey of the Magi, were read in pieces. A verse or two of a related familiar Christmas carol was sung by all between readings while the appropriate characters walked down the aisle to the chancel. By the time the priest read the Gospel, the children had created a full manger scene in front of the altar.

After the Gospel, the children processed down the aisle, removed their costumes in the narthex, and returned to their families in the pews. We saw lots of smiles and happy faces on young and old alike.

The Eucharist that followed was joyful. We found the entire experience to be uplifting and reaffirming.

We left for home thinking, 'Parish life is such a gift.'

We have been reflecting (nay, 'dwelling' is probably more accurate) on the past year with all its changes, chosen or imposed. 2014 was 'character building' – to say the least – for us at AO. After being enfolded in this morning's worship-cum-pageant, we resolved to let this new year be truly New. An epiphany to prepare for the Epiphany.

Won't you join us in singing A New Year Carol* (score) (audio)?

levy dew
Here we bring new water from the well so clear,
For to worship God with, this happy new year;
Sing levy dew, sing levy dew, the water and the wine,
With seven bright gold wires, and bugles that do shine.

Sing reign of fair maid, with gold upon her toe;
Open you the west door and turn the old year go;
Sing levy dew, sing levy dew, the water and the wine,
With seven bright gold wires, and bugles that do shine.

Sing reign of fair maid, with gold upon her chin.
Open you the east door and let the new year in!
Sing levy dew, sing levy dew, the water and the wine,
With seven bright gold wires, and bugles that do shine.


See you next week.

Our signature
All of us at Anglicans Online

4 January 2015

* Words: Traditional, collected by Walter de la Mare in his anthology Tom Tiddler's Ground.
This recording and score are Benjamin Britten's arrangement of the traditional tune in his collection 'Friday Afternoons'.
Other arrangements or performances we like:

Another site we like for New Year meditation: Dunblane Cathedral's 'Take a Moment' page.

A thin blue line
This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©2015 Society of Archbishop Justus
. Please address all spam to