The British Orthodox Church of Christ the Saviour, Bournemouth, held their long-standing annual Advent Carol Service on Sunday 4th December. Following the Divine Liturgy a wonderful lunch of varying Lenten fare (soup, baked potatoes and salad, Romanian delicacies) prepared and brought along by several members was thoroughly enjoyed by the congregation. A small Christmas tree was decorated and other decorations soon adorned the back of the Church in preparation for the forthcoming celebrations of the Incarnation.
The Advent Carol Service was well attended with the carols enthusiastically sung by all. In the sermon Father Simon emphasised both First and Second Advents and suggested that a strong and healthy emphasis on the Second Coming helped us avoid an over-sentimental celebration of Christmas such as an excess of snowy manger scenes set amidst northern European landscapes. The sermon did, however, reply to those who totally reject carols such as ‘In the Bleak Mid-Winter’ with carping criticisms and explained that this hymn could be understood allegorically as referring to the bleak mid-winter of sin that had covered this world and from which the Saviour had come to deliver us.