A message from the Dean, the Very Revd Fr Simon Aiken, 13 January 2013:
As the world goes back to work and the so-called 'festive season' comes to an end, the Cathedral's Christmas tree and decorations may have returned to their box and storage space in the crypt, but the crib scene remains, a reminder that our celebration of the incarnation continues.
In recent years we have rediscovered elements of our Christian calendar that allow us to focus at length on the things that matter. Christmastide, punctuated by the arrival of the Magi at Epiphany, lasts for 40 days until we celebrate the feast of Candlemas, the Presentation of Christ in the
days later on 2nd February (when we will bless all the candles to be used in
the Cathedral during the coming year). Temple
This mirrors the 40 days of preparation for Easter in Lent, and the 40 days of Easter itself culminating in Ascension Day. Ash Wednesday comes particularly early this year, so let us enjoy this extended time of celebrating the reality of Emmanuel, God-with-us in the
birth of his Son Jesus.
We must place on record, however, our sincerest thanks to all those who made our celebration of Christmas and Epiphany so special. The
was made most beautiful by the
labours of our dedicated Flower Guild and the cathedral staff. Servers and
choristers adorned our worship with their skills and devotion. Cathedral Church
This year, it was our special pleasure to welcome the 49th Royal School of Church Music annual Summer School whose members enabled the Christmas message to be celebrated in glorious music and words from New Year's Day to the great feast of the Epiphany. The soaring sounds of Mozart and Mendelssohn was
surely a marvellous way to mark "12th night'.
May God be with us and his Spirit inspire us as our hearts embrace the Babe of Bethlehem and ponder how he will become the Christ of Calvary. My seasonal
good wishes to you all.