Broken-hearted Blessings (Homily for Advent 3)

By Susie Henderson

Readings:

  • Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11
  • The Sweetness that Remains: Orange Blossom Honey Blessing in The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief by Jan Richardson
  • John 1 :6-8, 19-28

ROSEMARY FOR REMEMBRANCE

They say that grief is the tax on love — if you love you grieve, no getting around it. I brought rosemary today to honour the losses that we all carry and may be particularly mindful of at this time of year.

Rosemary — has a long history and there are many stories tied to this fragrant herb. Historically it has been thought to strengthen memory and that tie to remembrance and it has been included in both the wedding bouquet and the funeral garland.

Medicinally the camphor in rosemary has helped to clear congestion. In our house it mostly comes out with a little lemon to season Jennifer’s favorite roast chicken.

Today I offer it as a sign of remembrance, a scent that lingers, a way to witness that death is not the end of love. Death is not the end of love.

During this reflection, I invite you, if you’d like, to come forward and make yourself a mini wreath of remembrance that you can take home for a christmas tree or to place somewhere in your line of sight, a sign of the presence of those who have gone before us, still present, still missed, still remembered in our holiday times. You can make it during the service or just pick up the pieces to put it together when you get home. Continue reading Broken-hearted Blessings (Homily for Advent 3)

The Christmas Story’s Casting Surprise Captures The Heart of the City

Last Sunday morning, Angela Gentili called the director of The Christmas Story at the Church of the Holy Trinity to tell her that Jesus, aka her 8-month-old son Samuel, was sick and would not be showing up for the December 10th afternoon performance of the Nativity Play.

The director, Susan Watson, was resigned to using the back-up doll when 40 minutes before show time the head usher excitedly told her that he had found a 10-month baby girl to play Jesus and that her parents were from Nazareth! Continue reading The Christmas Story’s Casting Surprise Captures The Heart of the City

Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1

Isaiah 64:1-9
Mark 13:24-37

Some of you may be a bit leery of an Advent homily entitled “Anger as Fuel for Hope.” Isn’t ‘anger’ one of the seven deadly sins, I hear you ask? Isn’t Advent the rehearsal for the angelic choirs singing about peace on earth, and the arrival of the Prince of Peace. Why buzz kill the season’s hopeful mood? Why, indeed?

Well, for one reason, today’s scripture readings are reminders of the pain and suffering that humans have inflicted upon one another since forever, and testimonials to an understanding or acknowledgement that it will take a wisdom greater than our own to set things right, perhaps even a transcendent wisdom. “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!” the prophet Isaiah cries out. The story of Christmas has become so romanticized, its rough edges filed down, its scandalous message tied with a bow, the rough places steam-rolled, that it could be the work product of Walt Disney. Continue reading Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1

Advent Music at Holy Trinity: Welcome to Andrew Donaldson and Wendy Wyatt Donaldson

Holy Trinity invited Andrew Donaldson to coordinate music for our Advent Sundays. He and his wife, Wendy, have been part of our Advent Planning Team, along with Susie Henderson, Jennifer Henry, Clara Pasieka and Sherman Hesselgrave. Andrew will also collaborate with the Fallen Angles on the service for Advent IV. Several of their friends have also joined Holy Trinity’s singers to prepare and lead congregational songs on Sundays. Continue reading Advent Music at Holy Trinity: Welcome to Andrew Donaldson and Wendy Wyatt Donaldson

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