On behalf of Frs John, Alfred, Mark, the deacons and the parish team and myself I wish you a merry Christmas.
There’s been a lot of nonsense about wishing people “Merry Christmas” rather than the bland “Happy Holidays”, or “Seasons Greetings”. Well let’s not get too worried about such things and simply say that if each community genuinely offers open-hearted greetings to another community then that is a blessing anyway you look at it and it should be received as such. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Eid al_fitr, Solstice etc, are all moments in the life of different belief communities that are not only profound but also an outpouring to the world of hope, often depicted as light. The key thing in all of these is to be true to one’s faith and in the greeting offer the friendship that goes with it. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we honored each other’s offers of friendship? Perhaps we could make that part of our perspective on life in the New Year ahead.
In the meantime be Merry, which has its roots in the old English and Dutch words for joyful, delight or charming and mirth. Delight is a blended word from the Latin, “delectare” and light which ends up being meaning charming but also connotes the joy of being illuminated. Our profound sense of joy this season leads us into sharing with the angels the glory of the incarnation of Emmanuel, the God who is with us.
So again Merry Christmas!
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter