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May the hope, peace, joy and love of the Christ child be in your hearts, and in your homes this Christmastide, and may the blessing of God, Creator, Son and Spirit, rest upon you and those you love, this day, and always.



You can look forward to the next St. Luke's newsletter at the end of next week.

Christmas Services

St. Luke's will have in-person services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Amber safety protocols and procedures will be strictly followed and pre-registration is essential.

Registration for Christmas Eve is now closed. You can still register for Christmas Day.

Friday, December 25th at 10 a.m.: Register here.

Please see the information below about our Diocesan response to the 28 day provincial lockdown that begins on December 26th, 2020.

Click here for the bulletins for in-person worship on: 

Christmas Eve
Christmas Day

Christmas Flowers

The flowers in the church are offered to the glory of God, and in loving memory of:

Peggy and Fred Griffin
Rae and Dai Price
Meredith and Ruth Jones
Dennis Kearn
Douglas and Joan Schnare
Raymond and Cécile Paradis
Olive, Bert and Glen Matchett

Thank you, Laraine, for all your time and effort, and for sharing your amazing gift of flower arranging with us!

Rev. Victoria's Homilies on YouTube

You can find previous week's homilies on the St. Luke's YouTube channel.

Rev. Victoria's Christmas homilies will be recorded and uploaded in the next few days!

Today's Music

Prelude:   Christmas Prelude on  ‘Divinum Mysterium’  (by John Watkinson)
Solo: O Holy Night  (sung by Sheila Osborne-Brown)
Postlude:  Fantasia on ‘In Dulci Jubilo’  (by J. S. Bach)
Dating from 1962, John Watkinson’s Christmas Prelude on  ‘Divinum Mysterium’  is based on the hymn tune we use for the text Of Eternal Love Begotten (CP 132).  It begins and ends softly, with a general crescendo through the middle section.  Written in the key of E, the unusual destination into the key of C is cushioned by sensitive harmonic progressions.
In the town of Roquemaure in southern France at the end of 1843, the church organ had recently been renovated. To celebrate the event, the parish priest persuaded poet Placide Cappeau, a native of the town, to write a Christmas poem.  The result was  Cantique de Noël. Soon afterwards Adolphe Adam composed the music. It was premiered in Roquemaure in 1847 by the opera singer Emily Laurey.  In 1855, American John Dwight translated it into English.  We are delighted to have Sheila Osborne-Brown, one of our sopranos, sing this.  Thank you, Sheila!
Bach’s Fantasia on ‘In Dulci Jubilo’ may date from his time in Arnstadt when he may have used it to introduce the hymn tune before his congregation sang the hymn. Church-wise, it was a difficult time for the young Bach.  They had granted him a leave so he could go to Lübeck to hear Buxtehude, and Bach extended it by three months!  Then church authorities complained that his hymn improvisations were too long and confusing for the congregation!


Services of the Word For Those At Home

The following services are offered for those setting aside time for prayer and reflection on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, as well as Sunday, December 27th. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day include a reflection offered by Rev. Victoria. Sunday, December 27th includes a reflection by the Reverend Canon Christine Piper - many thanks, Christine!

A Service of the Word: Christmas Eve
A Service of the Word: Christmas Day
A Service of the Word: First Sunday After Christmas


Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.

(Madeline L’Engle)

First Coming

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine.

He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he cameto a tarnished world of sin and doubt.

To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.


He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.


We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

(Madeleine L’Engle)

Virtual Gathering 
11 a.m.

A Service of the Word with Lectio divina (Scripture Meditation) on the Gospel for Sunday.

 Our Wednesday Virtual Gatherings will resume again on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021.


When's the Best Time for you for Virtual Story-Telling Time in January?
As a way of staying connected during this time, we are replacing this fall's St. Luke's Virtual Social Hour with St. Luke's Virtual Story-Telling Time.  We would like to find a time and day that works for more people.  To find out more about the idea, click here.  We warmly invite you to participate in the Virtual Story-Telling Time whenever you can as a story-teller or a listener.  Here's a link to a survey to find out what time works best for most, and whose story you'd like to hear, and whether you're open to sharing your story.  Please complete this survey by December 27 at 5 PM (  Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you there. 

Heather Mallett and Anne Wright

How the Light Comes

I cannot tell you
how the light comes.

What I know
is that it is more ancient
than imagining.

That it travels
across an astounding expanse
to reach us.

That it loves
searching out
what is hidden,
what is lost,
what is forgotten
or in peril
or in pain.

That it has a fondness
for the body,
for finding its way
toward flesh,
for tracing the edges
of form,
for shining forth
through the eye,
the hand,
the heart.

I cannot tell you
how the light comes,
but that it does.
That it will.
That it works its way
into the deepest dark
that enfolds you,
though it may seem
long ages in coming
or arrive in a shape
you did not foresee.

And so
may we this day
turn ourselves toward it.
May we lift our faces
to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies
to follow the arc it makes.
May we open
and open more
and open still

to the blessed light
that comes.

—Jan Richardson


The Twelve Years of Christmas

The University of King’s College Chapel Choir in Halifax, Nova Scotia, directed by Paul Halley, presents The Twelve Years of Christmas, a new video compilation of music and readings recorded during live performances of the choir’s popular annual series, A King’s Christmas, in the years 2008–2019. With remastered audio, photography and video footage from past years, this feast of seasonal song and story heralds the holidays even in a time of social isolation. Click here to watch and listen on YouTube.

  Christmas is the day that holds all time together.

(Alexander Smith)

Are you interested in looking at previous editions of the St. Luke's newsletters? Click here for the archives.

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.  

(Janice Maeditere)
Copyright © 2020 St. Luke's Anglican Church, Ottawa, ON, All rights reserved.

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