The first Sunday of one of my favourite times of the year. An exciting and penitential time of patience and anticipation.
I marked the morning at the College Chapel, as per usual, where we were visited by the crew of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Scotian, on their annual church parade. It was well attended, as it always is thanks to the long historical ties the College has held with the Navy when the school was commandeered during WII to act as a naval officer training facility. The most amusing anecdote from the time was when German propaganda made the bold claim that one of their U-boats had, in the North Atlantic, sunk H.M.C.S King’s. The school stayed afloat.
And so we move from the very end of the Christian year when we humbly beseech the Almighty to, ‘Stir up…the wills of thy faithful people,’ to the very beginning of our year when we ask that Almighty God may, ‘give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light…’ So also we hear in the Gospel for the day of something we are more used to hearing during a time that seems so far from us now at the beginning. The story that tells of the Son of God, our Lord and Saviour entering Jerusalem on naught more than an ass.
Lo! as the venturer, from his stars receiving
Promise and presage of sublime emprise,
Wears evermore the seal of his believing
Deep in the dark of solitary eyes, –
So even I, and with a heart more burning,
So even I, and with a hope more sweet,
Groan for the hour, O Christ, of Thy returning,
Faint for the flaming of Thine Advent feet.
– F.W.H. Myers.