December Diary

“The bells of waiting Advent ring,” wrote Sir John Betjeman in his poem “Christmas”.

Fr David, Canon Tom and the clergy, servers, choir and congregation extend a warm welcome each and all to come and join us at St Michael’s, Mount Dinham, for any or all of our Services over the Advent, Christmas and Epiphany seasons, as we celebrate the light of Jesus coming into the darkness of his world and ours.
Fr David Hastings

And indeed, for those who might find Services at St Mike’s a little strange or too intense, there are also 3 pre-Xmas events where overt religion is kept to a minimum. Click on “Events” for more detail on individual events.

Wednesday 10th December sees the Choir in Concert at 7.30pm – Christmas by Candlelight will include the splendid Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and we’ll Ding dong merrily, In dulci jubilo, with Shepherds and Kings and wish you a Merry Christmas! Admission £5 (£3).
Festive Winter Warmer
Then on Saturday 13th December from 3-5pm there’s an Open Invitation to an Afternoon of Festive Food, Drink and Song at St Mike’s for friends, neighbours, families and passers-by. Do Drop In.

And on Saturday 20th Dec at 7.30pm, Exeter Chorale visit with a Concert of Christmas Music from 17th Century Venice & Saxony. The exciting sound of 8-part singing, brass and strings will echo around St Michael’s. And the Christmas Story will be re-told to the music of Heinrich Schutz, with guest soloist, Tony Yates, from Topsham. Tickets £7.50 on the door, with fine refreshments.

Plus on Sunday 21st Dec, St Michael’s Choir is delighted to have the opportunity to go Carolling at Killerton House. We will be entertaining visitors to this National Trust property in the Music Room with Carols sacred and secular, old and new, from 2pm to 4pm. Supporters welcome.

Don’t forget the St Michael’s Lecture. On Wednesday 3rd December at 7.30pm, our own David Beadle, who is studying for a PhD on the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) at the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter, and has done so much to reinvigorate the Lecture Series over the past few years, will talk about “Attitudes to Death and Dying in the Bible and Contemporary Europe.”
Advent I
As for Services, this year the First Sunday in December is Advent 2, so the 6pm Evening Service will be our beautiful Advent Procession (and not Evensong). Thus:-

Thursday 4th December at 6pm, in place of Thursday Vespers, CBS Mass in commemoration of Nicholas Ferrar (1637) of the Little Gidding Community.

Sunday 7th Dec, Advent II, 10.45am Mass. Setting: Missa de Angelis, Plainsong. Motet: E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come, Paul Manz.

Sun 7 Dec at 6pm. St Michael’s candlelit Advent Procession, from Darkness into Light, with Readings, Hymns and Carols, followed by Refreshments.

As well as 5 rousing Advent congregational hymns, music will include Palestrina’s well-known Matin Responsory and the traditional plainsong Advent Antiphons. Also the motet by Ramsey – O Sapientia (O Wisdom), Handel’s chorus – And the Glory of the Lord (from Messiah) and Gibbons’ dancelike Magnificat.
Gaudete Sunday
Sunday 14th Dec, Advent III, 10.45am Mass. We get out the Rose vestments for Gaudete Sunday – Rejoice in the Lord always. Setting: Mass in E flat, Bairstow. Motet: This is the record of John, Gibbons.

Thursday 18th Dec, 7:30pm at St Michael’s. Advent 3.571428 as Alex put it! A traditional Service of Nine Lessons & Carols. Hymns, Carols, Bidding Prayer and Readings telling the great story from Adam & Eve to Mary, Joseph and Jesus, the Shepherds and the Magi.

Sunday 21st Dec, Advent IV, 10.45am Mass. Setting: Missa “Dixit Maria”, Hans Leo Hassler. Motet: Hymne a la Vierge, Villette.
Nativity Window - South Aisle
Wednesday 24th December, Eve of Christmas, 11.30pm Mass. Preceded by Carols from the Gallery at 11pm. Setting: See website nearer the date. Motet: A babe is born, I wys, Anon.
If someone said on Christmas Eve, “Come; see the oxen kneel.” I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so. Thomas Hardy, The Oxen, Christmas Eve 1915.

Thursday 25th December, Christmas Day, N.B. 10.30am Mass. Setting: Missa “O magnum mysterium”, Victoria. Motet: O little one sweet, J S Bach.

Sunday 28th Dec, The Holy Innocents, 10.45am Mass. Setting: Missa L’Hora Passa, Viadana. Motet: The Coventry Carol, Trad. Whether the killing of infants in Bethlehem by King Herod is fact or myth, the Church and the World have abused and hurt the innocent and childlike for too long, and caused women to grieve. Only the just and gentle rule of Jesus Christ can give us hope to do better.

And for your new Diaries:-
Sunday 4th January 2015, Christmas II, 10.45am Mass.
Sunday 4th Jan, 6pm, Choral Evensong and Benediction.
Tuesday 6th Jan, Epiphany, 7.30pm Sung Mass.
Epiphany Window - South Aisle
The Recital Series is being re-launched in 2015 with a monthly Friday Evening slot. The January Recital on Friday 9th at 7.30pm will feature Eleanor Little and Ralf Ayling-Miller, the winners of our Young Organists’ Competition, so that promises to be a splendid start to the New Year. Admission £5 (£3).

Also, advanced notice that the St Michael’s Lectures for 2015 will commence on Wed 28th Jan at 7.30pm with Dr Nigel Browne giving an Illustrated History of Church Music in Devon, helped by a diverse array of performers.

Wishing you a blessed Advent, a joyful Christmas and a peaceful New Year from all at St Michael’s.