Christ, our Lord and Savior dear,
Be Thou ever near us.
Grant us now a glad new year.
Amen, Jesus, hear us! (LSB #390, stanza 4)
So we ended Matins this morning for the Feast of our Lord's Circumcision. In this rural parish in Southern Illinois, New Year's morning found some 59 folk gathered to thank the Lord for His precious first bloodshed. Pastor GeRue pointed us not only to the 8th day when our Lord was circumcised but to the font's 8 sides, where we were circumcised in Him through Holy Baptism.
Jesus! Name of mercy mild
Given to the holy Child
When the cup of human woe
First He tasted here below. (LSB #900, st. 4)
Today's service marks the last in the many holy-day services that began with Thanksgiving Day Matins. So Matins begins and ends the whole round. Next weekend we will celebrate Epiphany, but with our regular schedule. It is a full month! From Thanksgiving Day until New Year's Day, St. Paul's parish celebrated 20 Divine Services, 5 Matins, 2 Vespers, and 2 Lessons and Carols. Where's the partridge and the pear tree?
It is an absolutely wonderful time for the Word of God to "dwell among us richly" and as a parish we treasure these days enormously when we get to praise the One who so loved us as to take on our flesh and blood that we might have a share in His divine life!