Anglicans Online banner More about the gryphon
Independent On the web since 1994 More than 250,000 readers More than 32,000 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.

It is the first Sunday after Christmas, New Year's Eve, the last day of the secular year, and the twenty-fourth anniversary of Anglicans Online. Like many of you, we're reflecting on another tumultuous year, enjoying the Christmas season, and are delighted that AO is beginning its twenty-fifth year.

This year reads like many others before it—unseasonable weather, unruly political leaders, isolation, natural disasters, strife in the Anglican Communion and confusion over the meaning thereof, and calls decrying the over-commercialisation of Christmas and general shortening of the feast to one day. Twenty-Seventeen—and the year or two prior, have seemed rather 'extra'—to use a newfangled definition of an eighteenth century word*.

Extra: over-the-top, excessive, dramatic behaviour, says Urban Dictionary.

Perhaps a better explanation comes from PopSugar's '11 Slang Terms to Memorize If You Want to Stay Cool' from 25 December of this year:

If someone calls you extra, you're either trying too hard or being over the top. Think Regina George's mom. However, anyone from a teacher who gives too much homework to that loud, drunk birthday girl stumbling around in a plastic tiara can be described as extra.

This year has been for us, a bit extra. The highs have been amplified, as have the lows. The deaths of the famous, the infamous, the friends and the family. The extravagant claims and behaviours of politicians the world over, an unexpectedly warm season for most, with frigid colds in the Northern Hemisphere. The ordination of priests into some sort of parallel Anglicanism in what has been in the See of Canterbury by bishops from the Global South calling itself the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE)—more amplified and confused than even the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) founded seventeen years ago.

Last Sunday we celebrated the birth of the Word Made Flesh. Today the Holy Name, and next weekend, the arrival of the Magi bringing gifts to the Newborn King. Epiphany soon will bookend the Christmas season, as every church going Anglican knows, bringing to a close the large flower displays, pine, large creches, and lavish music that adorned our church buildings. The Advent Wreath with its Christ Candle in the centre will be removed. It is the end of our time of being so extra.

Or is it? Over the top? Perhaps at times. Excessive, rarely. Trying too hard, never. When for the glory of God and in worship of Him, we find it never to be 'extra' but enough—or nearly enough. It is not helpful to overreach in these preparations, lest the feast become a stress or performance rather than a worship and welcome, leaving an opportunity for Christmas to be 'oh so extra' as the secular Christmas holiday has doubtless become—a never ending race to purchase gifts and hang decorations, cook a feast, bake dozens of biscuits, entertain, all while avoiding excess added to the waist, leaving some relieved and others depressed when the holiday is over. We know it is not over. And instead of being 'extra' it is real.

Do have a look at our collection of Epiphany resources, perhaps some of the traditions there will speak to you. Perhaps in your part of the Anglican world, the Feast of the Epiphany/Feast of the Three Kings is more important than it is in ours, in which case you can help us learn how it is done. How this time is preserved. Tell us what you think.

Joyful wishes for 2018, with hopes for an extra wonderful year (in the traditional sense).


See you next week.

Our Signatures

All of us at Anglicans Online

31 December 2017

*Latin extrā (earlier extrād ) outside (adv.prep.), contracted form of exterā(d) , ablative feminine of exter (see EXTERIOR adj. and n.) in phrase exterā parte on the outer side. Used next in 1570 in extradecretal, and beginning in the sixteenth century, likely as a shortening of extraordinary. It's current, modern usage dates to the mid eighteenth century. See for more. If you do not have access, it may be purchased, or accessed via asking a university student or faculty/staff member friend.

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. ©2016 Society of Archbishop Justus
. Please address all spam to