December 1, 2022

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Once again we have entered into the penitential season of Advent, the beginning of another liturgical year. These four Sundays and the days surrounding them give us a time of spiritual preparation for the upcoming celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Tish Harrison Warren, an author and priest in the Anglican Church in North America, summed up this season of Advent in one of her weekly New York Times articles last year, amidst the ongoing pandemic. She wrote: "Advent is a season of hope, and part of practicing hope is noticing where we need it. In church, congregants sing a well-known Advent hymn that begins, 'O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.' We recall that we require ransom and rescue. Another year has gone by and we still live in a world in need of mending. We have learned anew through these long years that a virus can suddenly change our lives, that our illusions of control and predictability are fragile and faulty, that lies are often mistaken as truth, that we cannot keep ourselves or those we love from pain, that the wreckage of poverty, injustice and darkness persist. This is the very world of heartbreak, Christians say each year, into which Christ came and will come again.”

Indeed, this staple of our Advent hymnody “O come, O come, Emmanuel” is an adaptation of the Great O Antiphons which have been sung in the Roman church since at least the 8th century. They are seven Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers on the last evenings of Advent (December 17-23), leading up to the December 24 Vigil on Christmas Eve. The ornate antiphon for each evening would be sung before and after the Magnificat (Song of Mary), the high point of the Vespers liturgy. These texts likely originated in Italy in or before the 6th century, when Boethius refers to them in The Consolation of Philosophy. The Latin titles are:

17 December: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
18 December: O Adonai (O Lord)
19 December: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
20 December: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
21 December: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
22 December: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
23 December: O Emmanuel (O God With Us)

The first letters of the titles, from last to first, appear to form a Latin acrostic, Ero cras, meaning 'Tomorrow, I will be', mirroring the theme of the antiphons (Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia). Such acrostics were popular among early medieval writers. If you look at Hymn number 56 in our Hymnal 1982, you will note that the appropriate date for each stanza is listed. Though we don’t have daily services of Vespers or Evensong during the final octave leading up to Christmas, these antiphons might serve as a useful addition to a daily devotion or meditation as we approach the next celebration of Christ’s birth in the manger. In the meantime, all best wishes during this season of hope and preparation,

Jeremy Bruns


Stewardship Update: Thank You
(And to Those Who Haven't Yet Pledged,
We Need You!)

Pledge Online

As of November 27, 194 households have pledged $982,765 to support our life and ministry together in the coming year including 25 new pledges and 79 who increased their pledges over last year. To each of you, thank you! 

If you have not yet pledged, your pledge is critical to the decisions that we will be making in the coming weeks about programming and incremental staffing plans. Continuing the momentum and growth we’ve experienced over the past year requires that all of us commit to our share of funding our life and ministry together. Our hope is that those of you who usually make pledges at the end of the year will do so now if your financial situation allows, and that those of you who have never pledged, will consider doing so.  


Peter Sykes Harpsichord Concert

On Sunday, December 4 at 5:00 pm, all are invited to a harpsichord concert performed by Peter Sykes. One of the most distinguished and versatile keyboard artists performing today, Peter Sykes is on the music faculties of both Boston University and the Juilliard School of Music. The concert will feature the works of Sweelinck, Byrd, Peter Philips, Buxtehude, and Handel, played on Sykes's own 1961 Frank Hubbard Flemish single-manual harpsichord after Ruckers. Admission is free; donations are gladly accepted. 


Christmas Pageant Sign-Up

Sign Your Child Up for the Pageant!

Our Christmas pageant will be on Christmas Eve at the 4:00 pm worship service. All children are welcome to take part! We hold rehearsals at 11:15 am following worship on Sundays in December. You may still participate if you cannot make rehearsal! Please email Bryn to let her know your schedule and we will find a work-around. Please click here to sign your child up to participate in the pageant and to indicate their preferred role. 


2022 Christmas Poinsettias & Music

Make Your Poinsettia Dedication Online!

Every year, the sanctuary is decorated with beautiful poinsettias and greens in memory of loved ones or in gratitude for blessings received. To dedicate a poinsettia using our online form, please click here. Submissions must be received by Sunday, December 11 so that your dedication may be included in the Christmas bulletins.

To make a contribution in any amount for the poinsettias and greens decorating the church, or to the music during our services, please give online. Select "Christmas Flowers/Music" from the "Fund" dropdown menu. You can also drop a check in the Sunday offering plate or mail it to the parish office. Please make checks payable to the Parish of the Epiphany and write "Christmas Poinsettia/Music" in the memo line. 


December Birthdays & Anniversaries

Congratulations to all of our Epiphany friends celebrating birthdays and anniversaries during the month of December! 


Advent Adult Forum: Longing for Home

Join Rev. Nick and Janelle on December 4, 11, and 18 as they host an Advent forum series looking at what it means to long for home in this world. We will hear from our Refugee Resettlement team on their experiences and welcome GreenRoots from Chelsea and partners from the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem as we explore our place in this world, our identities, and our sense of longing for home and belonging. 


Midweek: St. Nicholas Celebration

Please join us for a special Midweek St. Nicholas Celebration this coming Wednesday, December 7 from 6:15 - 7:30 pm in Hadley Hall. We will start by enjoying a home cooked dinner, and then enjoy a festive time together with carol singing, cookie decorating, games and crafts, and a visit from Saint Nicholas. Our dinner menu will include meatloaf with mashed potatoes and roast vegetables, as well as pizza for the kids. 


Advent Quiet Day: December 10

RSVP for Advent Quiet Day

Join Br. Sean Glenn from the Society of St. John the Evangelist on Saturday, December 10 for our annual Advent Quiet Day. Br. Sean will guide us through a time of prayer, shared reflections on the themes of listening, waiting, and seeking God's direction in times of transition, change, and confusion. Click on the button above to RSVP. 


Gun Violence Vigil: December 10

On Saturday, December 10 at 4:00 pm, there will be a community vigil at the Woburn United Methodist Church to honor all victims and survivors of gun violence. It is part of a nationwide effort to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and to highlight the impact that gun violence has on families and communities. The vigil will also be live streamed here


Youth Christmas Movie Night

Join us on Saturday, December 10 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm for a youth (6th — 12th grade) holiday movie night with crafts, snacks, and festivities. Please RSVP to Janelle


Advent Giving Tree Is Here

Advent is here and the Giving Trees are back in church with opportunities to join in Epiphany’s gift ministry. One is at the back of Hadley Hall and one in front of the church nave. The trees are covered with tags describing suggested donations to be made to organizations supported by Mission & Outreach. Please take tags from the trees and follow the instructions to make donations by the date indicated. In addition, the information on the tree tags appears below and you can simply make your donation, as described, without collecting a tag. Your prayerful support of our partners, and the families they serve, would be greatly appreciated during this Christmas giving season.

St. Luke’s/San Lucas Church, Chelsea
Purchase a $20 Target gift card to be given to a child at the St. Luke’s Christmas Eve service. Put all cards to be donated into an envelope labeled “St. Luke’s” and place in the gift card collection box in the Epiphany office by Wednesday, 12/21.

Council of Social Concern, Woburn:
Purchase gift cards (value $10 to $100) from Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Gamestop, Amazon, Visa, or Mastercard. Note the value on the cards and put them in the gift card collection box in the Epiphany Office. Cards returned by Thursday, 12/8 will be donated to individual families to buy Christmas gifts. Late cards will go to the Children’s Center classrooms.

St. Stephen’s Youth Program, South End Boston:
Purchase a $20 Target gift card to be given to a child at the St. Stephen’s Christmas Eve service. Put each gift card in a signed Christmas card with “St. Stephen’s” on the envelope and place in the gift card collection box in the Epiphany office by Wednesday, 12/21.

Blackstone School Library, South End: 
Order requested children’s books from a Wishlist supported by Bookends in Winchester hereBring the books to Hadley Hall and a volunteer will deliver them to the Library, or just order a book and a volunteer will bring any books not picked up to Blackstone.

El Hogar Ministries, Honduras: Donate directly to El Hogar here.

Haiti Nursing Foundation: Donate directly to the Haiti Nursing Foundation here

Mosaic: Interfaith Youth Action (formerly Kids 4 Peace Boston): 
Donate directly to Mosaic here.

Quest Adventures, Boston: Donate directly to Quest here.

Network for Social Justice, Winchester: 
Donate directly to the Network for Social Justice here.

American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem: Donate directly to AFEDJ here.


Thank You for Your Generous Response

Epiphany parishioners again gave with wonderful generosity to the Council of Social Concern which provides food to families all year, and, especially, for Thanksgiving.

This year in response to the even-greater need, our congregation responded with 106 well-packed bags of groceries and an increase of 100% with grocery store gift cards for a total of $2,100 which provided an overall total of $4,100. This represents an outpouring of help at a time when we know families and individuals are struggling to secure nutritious food.

Additionally, due to your amazing generosity, Epiphany was able to provide $2,700 in gift cards and $1,700 in pork shoulders (often the Latinx preference for their Thanksgiving meal) to 108 families at St Stephen's Youth Programs. These families, many of whom regularly face food insecurity, were thrilled to receive these gifts, so much so that they were dancing (and gobbling) in the streets as we distributed the food! Thank you!


Help with Fellowship Hour This Winter

Sign Up to Help with Fellowship Hour

We are looking forward to fellowship hours on Sundays in December and January, and would greatly appreciate your help! Please click on the button above to contribute a baked good, a gluten-free snack, fresh fruit, or your help with serving and clean-up. 


Strength for the Holidays: December 13

On Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 pm in Hadley Hall, we invite you to "Strength for the Holidays: An Evening Presentation of Loss and Resilience," led by the Reverend Bob Davidson, Epiphany's Assisting Priest and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Hospice Chaplain. During this time of festive holiday celebrations, many struggle with the absence of loved ones. All are welcome to learn more about coping tools and ways to be present to loss and memories of happier times. Members of the public are welcome. 

Candlelight Festival of Lessons & Carols

All are welcome on Sunday, December 18 at 5:00 pm for Epiphany's annual Candlelight Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. A holiday favorite, this service of scripture and music centers on the mystery of the Incarnation. Sung by the Parish Choir and Choristers, this service also features the Triton Brass Quintet.  


Lessons & Carols Reception

Sign Up to Help with Reception

Following our service of Lessons & Carols on Sunday, December 18, all are invited to festive reception! Please click here to sign-up to help. 


This Week's Calendar

Click here to access the complete parish calendar.

Thursday, December 1 

5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 
7:00pm Healing Prayer via Zoom

7:30pm Parish Choir Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 

9:00pm Compline via Zoom 

Saturday, December 3

9:00am Altar Guild Clean-Up in the Sanctuary 
1:30pm Scouts BSA Event in Hadley Hall 

Sunday, December 4

8:00am Holy Eucharist: Rite I in the Sanctuary 
9:00am Bible Study in the Suter Room

9:00am Fellowship Hour in Hadley Hall 

9:00am Parish Choir and Choristers Warm-up in the Sanctuary

10:00am Holy Eucharist: Rite II in the Sanctuary and via YouTube 

11:15am Fellowship Hour in Hadley Hall
11:15am Longing for Home: Advent Adult Forum in Hadley Hall
11:15am Christmas Pageant Rehearsal in the Sanctuary 
12:00pm Property Priorities Summit in the Chapel
5:00pm Peter Sykes Harpsichord Concert in the Upper Parish Hall 

Monday, December 5

5:00pm Prayer Team Meeting via Zoom 
6:00pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall 
7:30pm AA Meeting in Hadley Hall 

Tuesday, December 6

8:00am Holy Eucharist in the Chapel
8:30am Bible Study in the Suter Room

8:30am Employment Transition Group via Zoom

10:00am Staff Meeting in the Suter Room
7:00pm Property Committee Meeting in the Suter Room

Wednesday, December 7

5:15pm Choristers Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 
6:15pm Midweek @ Epiphany: St. Nicholas Celebration in Hadley Hall 

Thursday, December 8

5:30pm Men's Group via Zoom 
7:00pm Healing Prayer via Zoom

7:30pm Parish Choir Rehearsal in the Upper Parish Hall 

9:00pm Compline via Zoom 


For More Information

For pastoral emergencies, please contact Rev. Nick by dialing 781-729-1922 Ext. 5. 
Click to view our Family Newsletter for parents, youth, and children. 
Click to find information on our worship services
Click to learn more if you are new to Epiphany.
Sign-up for online pledge payments here.


70 Church Street, Winchester, MA  01890