01 December 2021

December and Christmas 2021
in the Rathkeale and
Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes

The Christmas Crib in Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Sunday 5 December (The Second Sunday of Advent, Advent II):

9.30: The Parish Eucharist, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton;
11.30: Morning Prayer, Saint Brendan’s Church, Tarbert;

Readings: Baruch 5: 1-9; the Canticle Benedictus (Luke 1: 68-79); Philippians 1: 3-11; Luke 3: 1-6.

119, Come, thou long-expected Jesus (CD 8)
Canticle: Benedictus as Hymn 685 (CD 39)
134, Make way, make way, for Christ the King (CD 8)
204, When Jesus came to Jordan (CD 13)

5 p.m.: Carols and Lighting the Christmas tree, the Old Abbey, Rathkeale.

Sunday 12 December 2021 (The Third Sunday of Advent, Advent III):

9.30: The Parish Eucharist, Castletown;
11.30:, Morning Prayer, Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale.

Readings: Zephaniah 3: 14-20; Canticle Song of Isaiah (CD 43, No 6), Philippians 4: 4-7; Luke 3: 7-18.

281, Rejoice, the Lord is King! (CD 17)
Canticle: Song of Isaiah (CD 43, No 6)
135, O come, O come, Emmanuel (CD 8)
136, On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry (CD 8)

Sunday 19 December 2021 (The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Advent IV):

9.30: no morning service, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton;
11.30: The Parish Eucharist, Saint Brendan’s Church, Tarbert

Readings: Micah 5: 2-5a; the Canticle Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-55; Hymn 712, CD 40); Hebrews 10: 5-10; Luke 1: 39-45.

158, God rest you merry, gentlemen (CD 9)
Canticle: Magnificat, Luke 1: 46-55 as Hymn 712 (CD 40)
174, O little town of Bethlehem (CD 11)
198, The first Nowell the angel did say (CD 12)

3 p.m.: Carol Service, Askeaton, followed by refreshments (subject to Covid restrictions at the time).

Processional Hymn: 177, Once in royal David’s city

Carol 1: 155, Ding Dong! merrily on high

Lesson 1: Genesis 3: 8-19 (Adam has Paradise but his progeny will bruise the serpent’s head)

Carol 2: 135, O come, O come, Emmanuel

Lesson 2: Genesis 22: 15-18 (God promises to faithful Abraham that in his seed all nations shall be blessed)

Carol 3: 133, Long ago, prophets knew

Lesson 3: Isaiah 9: 2, 6-7 (The prophet foretells the coming of the Saviour)

Carol 4: 174, O little town of Bethlehem

Lesson 4: Micah 5: 2-5a (The place of the Redeemer’s birth is Bethlehem)

Carol 5: 160, Hark! the herald-angels sing

Lesson 5: Luke 1: 26-35, 38 (The angel Gabriel salutes the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Carol 6: 164, It came upon the midnight clear

Lesson 6: Luke 2: 1, 3-7 (Saint Luke tells of the birth of Jesus)

Carol 7: 158, God rest you merry gentlemen

Lesson 7: Luke 2: 8-16 (The shepherds go to the manger)

Carol 8: 152, ‘Come and join the celebration’

Lesson 8: Matthew 2: 1-11 (The wise men are led by the star to the Christ Child)

Carol 9: 149, Away in a manger

Lesson 9: John 1: 1-14 (Saint John unfolds the great mystery of the Incarnation)

Hymn: 162, In the bleak mid-winter (Christina Rossetti; music, Gustav Holst)

Collect and Blessing

Hymn: 172, O come, all ye faithful (Adeste Fideles)

Christmas Eve, Friday 24 December 2021:

6 p.m.: The Christmas Eucharist, Saint Brendan’s Church, Tarbert (please note revised time)
8 p.m.:, The Christmas Eucharist, Castletown Church (please note revised time)

Readings: Isaiah 9: 2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2: 11-14; Luke 2: 1-14.

174, O little town of Bethlehem (CD 11)
160, Hark! the herald angels sing (CD 9)
182, Silent night, holy night (CD 11)

Christmas Day, Saturday 25 December 2021:

9.30 am:, The Christmas Eucharist, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton
11 am: The Christmas Eucharist; Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale

Readings: Isaiah 9: 2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2: 11-14; Luke 2: 1-14.

177, Once in royal David’s city (CD 11)
184, Unto us is born a Son (CD 11)
172, O come, all ye faithful (CD 10)

26 December 2021, Saint Stephen’s Day, Christmas 1:

11 a.m.: Morning Prayer, Rathkeale (note the time; this is the only service in this group of parishes on this Sunday).

The Readings: II Chronicles 24: 20-22; Psalm 119: 161-168; Acts 7: 51-60; Matthew 10: 17-22.

459, For all the saints, who from their labours rest (CD 27)
170, Love came down at Christmas (CD 10)

Sunday 2 January 2022 (Christmas 2):

9.30: The Parish Eucharist, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton
11.30:, Morning Prayer, Saint Brendan’s Church, Tarbert

Readings: I Samuel 2: 18-20, 26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3: 12-17; Luke 2: 41-52.

166, Joy to the world, the Lord is come! (CD 10)
162, Infant holy, infant lowly (CD 9)
152, Come and join the celebration (CD 9)

Thursday 6 January 2022 (The Epiphany):

11 a.m.: Askeaton, the Epiphany Eucharist, followed by traditional Epiphany ‘chalking’.

Readings: Isaiah 60: 1-6; Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3: 1-12; Matthew 2: 1-12.

202, What child is this, who laid to rest (CD 13)
201, We three kings of Orient are (CD 13)
189, As with gladness men of old (CD 12)

‘Star of Bethlehem’ (1887-1890) by Edward Burn-Jones (1833-1898) … the largest watercolour of the 19th century, and now in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Praying in Advent 2021:
4, Saint Anansus of Siena

Saint Anansus of Siena depicted in the in the ‘Maestà’ of Duccio

Patrick Comerford

This is the Season of Advent. Before a busy day begins, I am taking some time early this morning (1 December 2021) for prayer, reflection and reading.

Each morning in the Advent, I am reflecting in these ways:

1, Reflections on a saint remembered in the calendars of the Church during Advent;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

Saint Ansanus (Sant’Ansano), who is recalled today (1 December), is the patron saint of Siena. He is called ‘The Baptiser’ or ‘The Apostle of Siena,’ and died in the year 304.

Legend says he was born into the noble Ancian family of Rome in the third century. When he was still a child, Ansanus was secretly baptised by his nurse Maxima (Saint Maxima of Rome) and was secretly brought up as a Christian.

Ansanus openly declared his Christian faith during the persecutions of Diocletian, when he was 19. Tradition says he preached the Gospel in Bagnoregio (Bagnorea) and that the Church of Santa Maria delle Carceri outside the Alban Gate was been built above the prison where he was held.

Tradition says his own father denounced Ansanus to the authorities. Ansanus and Maxima were scourged; Maxima died, but Ansanus survived. He was then thrown into a pot of boiling oil, survived once more, and was then taken to Siena as a prisoner. There he preached Christianity and make many converts to Christianity. He was decapitated on the orders of the Emperor Diocletian.

Saint Ansanus is venerated as one of the patron saints of Siena. He is depicted in the Maestà of Duccio, an altarpiece composed of many individual paintings commissioned by the city of Siena in 1308 from the artist Duccio di Buoninsegna and his most famous work, completed in 1308-1311.

The front panels make up a large enthroned Madonna and Child with saints and angels, including Saint Ansanus, and a predella of the Childhood of Christ with prophets. The reverse has the rest of a combined cycle of the Life of the Virgin and the Life of Christ in a total of 43 small scenes.

The base of the panel has an inscription that reads, ‘Holy Mother of God, be thou the cause of peace for Siena and life to Duccio because he painted thee thus.’ Duccio’s Maestà set Italian painting on a course leading away from the styles of Byzantine art to more direct presentations of reality. However, several panels are now dispersed or lost.

Matthew 15: 29-37 (NRSVA)

29 After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, 31 so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.’ 33 The disciples said to him, ‘Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?’ 34 Jesus asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’ 35 Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (1 December 2021, World AIDS Day) invites us to pray:

We pray for the medical professionals and researchers combating diseases and guarding our health tirelessly.

Yesterday: Saint Andrew the Apostle

Tomorrow: Saint Mungo

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

The Maestà, or Maestà of Duccio … Saint Anansus of Siena is in the bottom row, second from the left