Friday, 10 January 2014

Christmas Traditions Old and New

Fr Aaron Spinelli and children of parish pray the Angelus
“Christmas Tradition” is the surprising answer to the question “What connects Lichfield Cathedral and a Canadian parish, to St Teresa’s Church in the village of Merstham. Two years ago a new tradition began, developed from a televised Christmas Eucharist from Lichfield Cathedral in 2011. There people with various roles within the community were seen placing gifts in the manger. One was Harriet Hunter from Merstham, wife of the Cathedral organist Martyn Rawles. Quick enquiry disclosed the gifts were flowers and herbs. Now in Merstham children bring small pots of flowers to the crib. With Mass ending around noon, this year Fr Aaron Spinelli led everyone in the Angelus.

The older tradition is massed poinsettias, usually on the sanctuary, given by parishioners in memory of departed loved ones. This idea was collected by Joan and Bernard Hodge when visiting family in Canada. In early January a Mass is offered especially for the repose of their souls.

The Parish of the Nativity of the Lord as a whole began a new tradition three years ago – Open House on the Feast of the Holy Family at the Presbytery at St. Joseph’s Redhill. The event marks both our patronal feast on 25th December and the patronal feast of The Holy Family Church at Reigate. Drinks and nibbles late morning to early afternoon; tea and cakes at teatime, naturally! The different church communities take turns as being hosts.

Text Ann Lardeur. Photo Janet Franklin

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