People would look at us funny if we went around saying Happy New Year on Sunday. But in fact the First Sunday of Advent is the start of a new church year with all that we can look forward to in our liturgical calendar. The Season of Advent, quite like Lent, is a time of reflection, penitence and preparation. We begin a new 'Advent-ure', so this is a time to get ready, clean house and diligently prepare as we would for an important trip or journey.

At St. Mark's this Sunday we begin with Congregational Singing for the first time since COVID hit in March 2020! As we light the candles on the Advent wreath we prepare to make room in our lives for hope, peace, joy and love for the uncertain journeys ahead.

With thanks to our music director Randy Mills, and our Cantate Chimers and Singers, join us for the traditional Advent Service of Lessons and Carols at 4 pm, which will also send us on our way. See below for Advent Thursdays and other prayerful ways we can enter into this holy season of preparation for the Incarnation.

Happy New Year anyway, and let the new journeys begin.

Father William, Pastor and Priest

PS One of my pet peeves is how the commercial world and so many others now rush to Christmas when we haven't even begun Advent. I thought it was a lost cause until I watched this hilarious sketch on CBC's 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes'. Take a look and have a laugh.