The Elizabethan is a monthly update of parish and ministry happenings. Any items for the newsletter should be sent by the fourth Friday of the month to the church office email address:

To read the entire December 2019 newsletter click on this link >> Elizabethan 12-19 (1)

From Fr. John: Why we do what we do during Christmas
I don’t think anyone uses the term “Christmastide” anymore, other than a few clergy folk and monastics. That’s alright. It is a bit archaic and the church already has her hands full reminding people why we are not irrelevant. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are surrounded by people who have deliberately chosen not to be a part of a church (often in reaction to a church-related wounding) as well as people who used to go to church and just no longer come and just don’t really miss it.

There are also a growing number of people who have never experienced church, some who are the children of people who have chosen not to come. And then there are people who are curious and have nothing but popular culture to inform them (usually not the best face of Christian hospitality and thought!)

Curious people and others who don’t typically visit us often show up during Christmas. And for them, Advent has really been not much more than a countdown to the shopping season. For them, the “Christmas season” begins at some vague point near Halloween and ends on December 25th.

That’s not what we understand “Christmastide” to be. And so, even as we let the antiquated reference fade into obscurity, we can still invite people to a different kind of Christmas season. And for those folks who come only on Easter and Christmas, we can dress St. Elizabeth in her finest and welcome them with warmth and joy.

Because what we used to call “Christmastide” is filled with richness, ritual and mystical experience. We celebrate God incarnate in our lives through the birth of the Christ-child, the revitalization of Christ in our own hearts and minds, and await with renewed hope, the coming of Christ in fullness. For 12 days, beginning on sun-down of December 24th, we rejoice in the gift of the Holy Child of Bethlehem. Because the sun is down, we consider it morning, and so we continue the celebration of the Nativity with a Mass at 10:00 on the morning of the 25th.

Read the entire essay in the newsletter >> Elizabethan 12-19 (1)

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