Dear Family and Friends of St. Philip’s,
Well, this is crunch time for the mad rush to Christmas. The traffic is crazy; the buying
frenzy is in full gear. Finally, at last, Christmas Day arrives, and we want to crash only to turn
and prepare a Christmas dinner! Does this sound familiar? Sometimes in our flurry of activity,
we can forget “the reason for the season.” This is where coming to tomorrow’s Christmas Eve
service can help. Instead of piling on one more thing to do, you can come to St. Philip’s and
relax. You can hear and sing great music, spend time in prayer, receive Communion, and
simply take time out to reflect. We begin at 5:15 pm with carols. The service starts at 5:30 pm.
Come! Together, let us adore the Christ Child!
Remember that Christmas is a season and not only one day. We have a 10 am service
on Sunday, December 26. I will take a break and drive north with May Ruth to the Milwaukee
area to spend New Year’s with our two daughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. I
will be back in Leesburg on the evening of January 4. You will have a supply priest for Sunday,
January 2, at 10 am. We will have a 6:30 pm celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany on
Thursday, January 6.
The service for Percy Holder will be at St. Philip’s on Tuesday, December 28, at 11 am.
There will be a visitation period at Alphonso West Mortuary on Monday, December 27, from 5
to 7 pm. Please keep Percy and his wife, Dorothy, in your prayers. December 28 would have
been Percy’s birthday.
I thank the altar guild for decorating the Church for Christmas. It looks great! I also
thank those who worked so hard on the December 11 Clean-Up Day. The church, the
auditorium, and the kitchen look great! I thank both groups for jobs well done!
Beginning with the service on Christmas Eve and running through the Baptism of Jesus
on January 9, We will be using Eucharistic Prayer B which is known as the prayer of
Hippolytus. It is the oldest of the Eucharistic Prayers. It dates back to around 230 AD. My
Nashotah House Liturgics professor, Louis Weil, taught me that Hippolytus was a conservative
and snobbish bishop. Today he would be advocating a return to the 1928 Book of Common
Prayer. He ran for pope and didn’t get elected. In anger, he basically said, “You Latin people
with your Latin language! Greek is the proper language that we should all use! Here’s how you
pray a Eucharist Prayer! The Western Church responded by saying in so many words, “We
don’t like you, but we like your Eucharistic Prayer! The result is Eucharistic Prayer B. It was
translated into English and combined with a Eucharistic prayer written by Frank Griswold who
later served as the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop from 1997 to 2006.
May Ruth and I wish you a wonderful Christmas! May this be a time of celebrating the
birth of our savior with good family and friends! With my love and best wishes, I am,
Your brother in Christ,