Advent 2016

Advent ring with the first candle lit © Ricky Yates

This year, the season of Advent has been as long as it possibly can be – a full four weeks. In 2017, quite the reverse happens with the Fourth and final Sunday of Advent, also being Christmas Eve!

I have very much appreciated the length of the Advent season this year, for a number of reasons. One slightly selfish reason is the cause of Advent lasting fully four weeks – the result of Christmas Day falling on a Sunday, which is every clergyperson’s delight! No need for services on three successive days, or on three out of four days. Instead, a full week beforehand, to prepare for services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then an uninterrupted week afterwards, to take as a post-Christmas break 🙂

. . . → Read More: Advent 2016

Christmas 2014

The altar at St Clement’s at the end of our worship on the Fourth Sunday of Advent © Ricky Yates

This Christmas was our seventh in Prague. As I have explained in a previous post, each year a large number of our regular congregation head off to their home countries for the Christmas – New Year period, in order to celebrate with their wider family and friends. This is further exacerbated by the fact that many in the congregation either teach in one of the various international schools in Prague and/or have children who attend one of these schools. The three week Christmas school holidays, together with summer months of July and August, provide the only real opportunity for a trip back ‘home’.

However, although we held our Service of Lessons and Carols on the evening of Sunday 14th December, in advance of . . . → Read More: Christmas 2014

Through Advent to Christmas

Interior view of St. Clement’s Church, Prague on the Fourth Sunday of Advent © Ricky Yates

As I start compiling this post, so it has just gone dark outside, therefore meaning that Advent has ended and the Christmas season has begun. I’m very aware that I’ve only written and posted one blogpost during Advent this year and that was in no way related to this important liturgical season. So this my small attempt to make amends by reflecting on the past twenty-four days of Advent 2013.

For once, this year Advent started on the day all manufacturers of Advent calenders think it always does – 1st December. For those who don’t know, Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas Day, thus meaning it can begin as early as 27th November or as late as 3rd December. Whilst we should use the season to help prepare . . . → Read More: Through Advent to Christmas

Christmas in Prague & Brno 2012

Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus in Námestí miru, Prague © Ricky Yates

Much as I dislike Christmas being brought forward into the Advent season, working with two expatriate congregations here in the Czech Republic means this inevitably has to happen. So many of our regular worshippers are absent at Christmas because they travel back to their respective home countries in order to spend the holiday season with their family and friends. But before setting off on their travels, many want to be able to participate in the Anglican tradition of a ‘Service of Lessons & Carols’, either in Prague or Brno.

Since commencing regular monthly services in Brno at the beginning of 2012, we have consistently held them on the second Sunday evening of each month. So it seemed right to make the service due on Sunday 9th December, a ‘Service of Lessons & Carols’, . . . → Read More: Christmas in Prague & Brno 2012

Happy third birthday to my blog!

Snowdrop flowering in Stromovka Park © Ricky Yates

Today my blog is exactly three years old. My first ever blogpost was published here on 4th February 2009. So today is both a time for a little celebration as well as an occasion for some reflection on what I’ve written in the past as well as what might appear here in the coming year.

For any of my readers who are statistically minded, this is post number 163. In my first year, I published 73 posts, in my second year it was 48. In the past twelve months, I’ve published a further 41 as I will deem this post to be the first of my fourth blogging year.

The reason for the disparity in numbers stems mainly from my prolific period of writing and posting in November and December 2009 when I wrote in detail about . . . → Read More: Happy third birthday to my blog!