Lichfield Cathedral have shared this Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar. It runs from 27th November, the First Sunday of Advent, until Christmas Day itself, 25th December. We think it will help many people to prepare for the coming of Jesus at Christmas.
This is a simple prayer and bible-reading exercise to help us use the Advent Season as a time of preparation for the coming of Christ.
Try and set aside 5-15 minutes every day.
Buy or use a special candle to light each day as you read and pray through the suggestions on the calendar.
Try and ‘eat simply’ – one day each week try going without so many calories or too much rich food, just have enough.
Try to donate to a charity working with the homeless or the people of Bethlehem.
Try to pray through what you see and notice going on around you in people, the media and nature.
Who is the Calendar for?
For everyone who uses the Cathedral website/social media.
For all the Cathedral community.
For people you want to send it to and invite to share in the daily devotional exercise.
What is the last week about?
The last week of Advent is special: at Evensong (evening prayer) a special antiphon is sung or said before and after the canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Magnificat. Each begins with an ‘O’ and relates to some facet of Christ’s nature and ancestry
December 17 O Sapientia Wisdom
December 18 O Adonai Lord of Israel
December 19 O Radix Jesse Root of Jesse (Jesse was the father of King David)
December 20 O Clavis David Key of David
December 21 O Oriens Morning Star rising in the East
December 22 O Rex Gentium King of all nations
December 23 O Immanuel Immanuel – ‘God is with us’
Congratulations to Lichfield Cathedral on its award for caring for our home planet!
We’ll let them tell the story which follows naturally our short Franciscan season.
Lichfield Cathedral has been presented with its Silver Eco Church Award.
Lichfield Cathedral won the Bronze Award in 2021 and is working hard to achieve the Gold Eco Church Award.The Cathedral also received A Rocha UK’s Partner in Action Certificate in Environmental Excellence. This certificate acknowledges the Cathedral’s dedication to protecting and enhancing species and habitats, engaging the cathedral community in caring for the land, and developing a sustainable, low carbon approach to energy, food, and water use.
The Revd Canon Dr David Primrose said, “we are on a journey from Bronze to Gold. Tasks ahead include robust action plans to reduce our carbon footprint, and improved communications and engagement with others. There is a growing awareness of the connections between loss of biodiversity, the climate crisis, rising energy prices, and the cost of living.As a Healthy Healing Hub, we know the links between care for creation, the common good, and the wellbeing of those who are vulnerable.”
A message from the Dean of Lichfield, The Very Rev’d Adrian Dorber.
The last two years have been very difficult and disruptive for everyone, but it is a real joy that now we can throw open the Cathedral doors and invite you to share in worship this coming Holy Week and Easter.
You will find a full list of the services below, with a brief description of what each service is about. We would love to welcome you as we celebrate, remember and explore the summit and crown of the Christian Year. The Very Rev’d Adrian Dorber
I think we were all hoping for a more definite Christmas this year. In 2020 we mumbled our way through a highly restricted Christmas hoping that things would never be quite as grim again. And now, behold! The virus mutates and sends out new waves of nervousness and self-imposed social restriction. I led a corporate moan in the Cathedral on the third Sunday of Advent, urging the congregation to voice our weariness with the plague. I have to say the community responded magnificently and we sounded a rich and resonant “Ugh!” There’s a certain sense of release and relief when we can all voice our fed-upness and irritation together: therapeutic even.
For all that, Christmas comes to shed its own light on us, the people we love, live with and share our planet with too. We have family and religious customs and ceremonies that mark it out as “the most wonderful time of the year”.
The Gospels are full of instances where Jesus is “moved with compassion”. No translation in English quite conveys the force of the original: a deep and visceral movement from the bowels, the entrails, the depth of the heart where the strongest emotions originate. For Jesus this feeling of compassion often extended itself into acts of healing and the restoration of the inherent dignity of people on the margins, often in things as simple and straightforward as a conversation or sharing a meal.
Albert Nolan OP in his splendid book “Jesus before Christianity” says: “It would be impossible to overestimate the impact these meals must have had upon the poor and the sinners. By accepting them as friends and equals Jesus had taken away their shame, humiliation, and guilt. By showing them that they mattered to him as people he gave them a sense of dignity … The physical contact which he must have had with them when reclining at table … must have made them feel clean and acceptable”.
The point Nolan drives home is that Jesus isn’t a friendly social worker or dispenser of charity “doing good to someone” but is rather participating in a person’s experience. He stands in solidarity and makes community with people in their woundedness; he is deeply affected by the pain of others, and he can do nothing other than to alleviate pain and suffering. This was received as healing and salvation with relief, joy, gratitude, and love.
Chad, as patron, unites Lichfield Anglican Diocese and the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham. He was the first Bishop of Lichfield in Mercia, the Kingdom of the English Midlands. He died on this day in 672. It is fitting to remember him more widely this year, as he died of a plague, having received a heavenly warning that his death was near.
Bishop Chad’s nature was to go everywhere on foot – again a parallel with our own times – but Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury ordered him to ride on horseback for long journeys. His diocese covered much of England so to visit all of it made a horse a tool of the Good News rather than a symbol of his status as bishop.
We pray that the work of vaccination may go ahead safely and surely in Lichfield Cathedral, and we pray too for the discernment to know when we should walk, not ride a short journey, and so help to protect God’s earth and our home.
Lichfield Cathedral was the first in England to welcome a Covid Vaccination centre. The city was the birthplace of Dr Samuel Johnson, the 18th Century philosopher.
The Dean, the Very Rev’d Adrian Dorber, remarked: “Lichfield Cathedral has a long history, dating back to its mediaeval beginnings, of being a space of welcome and healing for the community. We pray every day for our nation and community, especially for healing the sick and protecting the vulnerable. It’s only right we offer the cathedral as a practical means for those prayers to be answered.”