Today is the final Sunday of the Christmas season: The Feast of
the Baptism of the Lord. While the rest of the world may see Christmas as a
distant memory, for Christians – The
party is not over!
Be attentive for the signs of Christmas. Look around. The trees
are still up and lit. The poinsettia’s are still lovely and abundant. The
vestments are gold and the banners are white.
I continue to be inspired by the beauty of our church. This is a
good time to thank those who decorated as well as the generation that built the
church that we are blessed to have inherited.
Our gospel reading takes us to a later time in Jesus’s life. We
no longer hear of the infant born in a stable or the boy discussing scripture
in the temple. Jesus is baptized by John and will soon begin his ministry.
What about the music?
While my primary source has chosen to move away from Christmas
music, I have decided to begin and end today’s liturgy with Christmas. We will
also sing the Christmas Gloria (with the refrain from Angels We Have Heard on
High) our seasonal psalm, and the Christmastime Alleluia (repeated after the
proclamation of the gospel). It will also be the last time our intercessory
prayers will be preceded by the chime.
Thank you to John LoPrieto for finding, restoring and bringing
the chime to the choir loft. The next time we use it (lent?) I hope to find a
few volunteers willing to play it. (You just need to follow a script and use a
The hymns at gathering and offertory are more traditional of
nature and speak of Jesus’s baptism and his future ministry. Our communion song
is a contemporary composition by Matt Maher titled “Love has Come” (#484). Take
a quick look at the text at some point.