News from Saint Thomas: week ending in December 22

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Dear friends,

Christmas is around the corner and Fifth Avenue seems busier than ever. Yet our church remains an oasis of peace and tranquility in the midst of all the commercialism outside its walls. What with the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and the Rockettes and Radio City so close, it is easy to be caught up in the hustle and the bustle and forget that we are still in Advent; that we are still preparing! At Saint Thomas Church, we have the wonderful opportunity to celebrate the last Sunday of Advent as it used to be celebrated – in eager anticipation of Christmas, but, nevertheless, firmly rooted in the Advent season. Our 11am mass on Sunday will have a wonderful timeless feel to it. Our Gospel passage is Mary’s Magnificat, which is a song not only heard day by day in our church, but is a song that all of us need to know in order to shape our lives. The Marist Father, Johann Rosten, describes the Magnificat as both ‘a song of joy and a manifesto of hope.’

We will send out another email news blast just before Christmas. In the meantime, here is a short poem by Laurence Housman:

Light looked down and beheld Darkness.
“Thither will I go,” said Light.
Peace looked down and beheld War.
“Thither will I go,” said Peace.
Love looked down and beheld Hatred.
“Thither will I go,” said Love.
So came Light and shone.
So came Peace and gave rest.
So came Love and brought life.
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

If you are traveling to be with friends and family this weekend, may the holy Angels watch over you as you journey.

with every blessing,

Father Carl Turner

Lessons and Carols at Saint Thomas Church

This holy season, we welcome you to the two remaining Lessons & Carols services that Saint Thomas Church will host.

The traditional Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols is on Sunday, December 23 at 4pm and repeated on Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24 at 4pm.

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first celebrated one hundred years ago at King’s College, Cambridge on Christmas Eve, 1918. It was an adaptation of a similar service that had been written for the cathedral at Truro in 1880. The lessons and music move deliberately from the season of Advent into Christmastide.

For more information about these classic seasonal services, please follow this link.

Advent and Christmas Service Schedule

For more information about all of our services in this holy season, please follow this link to view our special flyer.

Please be aware that the church will likely be full to capacity for both services on Christmas Eve. All three services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men & Boys. And all three services, as well as all the choral services throughout the season, will be webcast live, and available on demand for many weeks following. So whether you are with us in person, or via webcast, you are most welcome to take part.

O come, let us adore him.

Pilgrims’ Course 2019

Newcomers to Saint Thomas Church and those not yet members of the church are invited to our ‘PILGRIMS’ COURSE’, which is a comprehensive introduction to the Christian faith, as received and understood by the Episcopal Church. The first session is on Tuesday, January 15 at 6:30pm. For 2019, each evening will begin with a simple meal at 6:30pm and the class will run from 7-8pm. The sessions continue on most Tuesday evenings through May 7. Although the course is specifically designed for those who are considering confirmation or reception into the Episcopal Church, it is fitting for anyone who wishes to explore Christianity, or who wishes to be refreshed in their faith. Everyone is welcome.

It is important that we know who is coming to help us with catering. Please email us at if you wish to attend the class and have a meal. Also, please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

Festive Seniors’ Lunch

Our annual Seniors’ Lunch was a delightful pre-Christmas Celebration with festive food, gifts, and song in Andrew Hall. The crowns from our Christmas Crackers were all the fashion. We welcomed Fr. Turner’s family (see below) and also enjoyed the smooth voice of Adam MacDonald, who led us in hymns and carols with style!