Greyfriars and St. Mary’s is a linked charge of the Scottish Episcopal Church in the diocese of Glasgow and Galloway. The church in Kirkcudbright dates back to Medieval times, and in Gatehouse of Fleet to 1840. We hope you will find in these pages welcome, inspiration and information.
Christmas, New Year, and Epiphany Greetings!
Most Christmas cards save time and effort by carrying a greeting that wishes us a “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”. They follow so close to each other it makes practical sense, yet Epiphany is the Church season that comes directly after Christmas. Indeed it is the continuation of the bible narrative.
Two women were waiting for a bus outside a church. A carol service was being advertised, so one woman moaned to the other ‘even the church is cashing in on Christmas!’ It is so easy to get lost in the sheer busyness of the festive season that we lose the true meaning of the miracle of God coming into the world. And the very means of His arrival is part of the wonder of the Christmas story.
The baby we now know as Jesus was born to a very poor, probably illiterate teenage girl, who herself was born into the shepherding community which was at the edges of society within a group of people despised by their Roman Empire rulers; the persecuted Jews. From the beginning God chose to deliberately associate with the hardest-hit in society, the poor, the lonely, the fearful, the homeless, and the marginalised.
Enter the Wise Men. This marks the beginning of Epiphany. Indeed in the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition more is often made of this than Christmas. The Wise Men, or Kings, brought precious and costly gifts, and had maybe travelled for years, led by a star. Another inexplicable miracle. They represented acknowledgment by the then known world that something very special had happened that first Christmas. Also it signified Jesus could bless not just His own community but the whole world. We do not know the number of them but the assumption is three because three gifts were presented; gold, frankincense and myrrh. Perhaps the fourth brought the equivalent of Quality Street and does not get a mention!
The word Epiphany has come into our English language because of this great event of Christ coming into the world AND into our everyday experiences. It means literally a moment of sudden and great revelation or realisation.
There is nothing to add to this as a New Year hope.
Stephen D. Hazlett, Rector
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, with 70 million members in 163 countries. It is the third largest Christian church in Scotland, and is in full communion with the Church of England, the Church of Ireland, and the Church in Wales. Our Christian belief is centred on the Holy Scriptures and the Sacraments of baptism and the Holy Communion. We live out these core beliefs through worship, prayer, and Christian living.
Both churches have an active role in our communities, sharing God’s love in ecumenical partnership with other churches. We give of our means and talents to the greater purpose of God’s work and the needs of our fellow humans locally, nationally, and internationally. We are listening churches, not just to those who attend our worship, but to all who find need of us, whether through baptism, marriage, illness or other pastoral needs, and bereavement. The Rector can be contacted at anytime.
Our congregations are enthusiastic, caring, and warm and hope you will be able to share with us as we celebrate our Christian life together.
May the Lord be with you, and may His peace be yours today and always.