From the Dean’s Desk

Twelve Days of Christmas

Christmas, the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, lasts for twelve days, from December 25 (beginning with the communion services of Christmas Eve – the Mass of Christ) through Twelfth Night, January 5 (January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany).


Did you know?

The Real Meaning of The Twelve Days of Christmas,
the Carol?

from The Lutheran Digest

From 1558 until 1829 Roman Catholic Christians in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that long era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young members of the church.  Each verse in the song is code for a truth of the faith which the children could then remember.

The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.
The two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stand for faith, hope, and love.
The four calling birds are the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The five golden rings recall the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament.
The six geese-a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The eight maids-a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
The ten lords-a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
Eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve items of faith in the Apostles’ Creed.

So, dear friends, Merry Christmas!  The world may have moved on, but the church is still in party mode, celebrating the joyful mystery of the Incarnation, God’s living Word, Jesus Christ.  Rejoice!  Christ is born!

From the Dean’s Desk… 27 May 2012, The Feast of Pentecost

It’s the birthday of the church of Jesus Christ!

It’s Pentecost, the fiftieth day after the Resurrection of Our Lord, the birthday of the church of Jesus Christ, the joyful anniversary of the giving of the Holy Spirit. Today we celebrate with both Sacraments, our weekly meal of sustenance and strength for service as disciples, the Holy Eucharist, and also the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, the gift of God in the waters of death and life which brings us into the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, beginning our life as disciples of the Crucified and Risen One. Baptized today, a new sister and brother in Christ, are Andrew Micheal Sampson and Emily Anne Faethe Carroll.

I rejoice that I can celebrate all of this with you today, and give thanks that I am able to take the next two weeks off as holiday, spending at least part of that time in Minnesota with Melanie’s family.

Her mom, Cynthia, is in hospital recovering from a broken hip, hip replacement surgery, and pneumonia. I will be back here at work on Sunday, June 10th. In the interim the Venerable David Pate will be on call strictly for emergencies, essentially dying and death. God forbid that we should need him. David has also graciously agreed to preach and preside at both services, next Sunday, June 3rd. Thank you, David!

Ministry of the Baptized

Through our baptism, we have passed from darkness to light. We have received the Light of Christ. It is time to let our light shine.

With the upcoming service of Holy Baptism on The Day of Pentecost, this June 12, 2011, it is important to remind ourselves what Baptism means and to reflect on our baptismal covenant. If you would like to read the service of Holy Baptism, see the The Book of Alternative Services, starting at page 145. If you are thinking about being baptized, please contact us

Holy Baptism

Christians are not just baptized individuals;
they are a new humanity.

Baptism is the sign of new life in Christ. Baptism unites Christ with his people. That union is both individual and corporate. Christians are, it is true, baptized one by one, but to be a Christian is to be part of a new creation which rises from the dark waters of Christ’s death into the dawn of his risen life. Christians are not just baptized individuals; they are a new humanity.

The scriptures of the New Testament and the liturgy of the Church unfold the meaning of baptism in various images (often based on Old Testament water symbols) which express the mystery of salvation.
Baptism is participation in Christ’s death and resurrection (Romans 6.3–5; Colossians 2.12); a washing away of sin (1 Corinthians 6.11); a new birth (John 3.5); an enlightenment by Christ (Ephesians 5.14); a reclothing in Christ (Galatians 3.27); a renewal by the Spirit (Titus 3.5); the experience of salvation from the flood (1 Peter 3.20–21); an exodus from bondage (1 Corinthians 10.1–2) and a liberation into a new humanity in which barriers of division, whether of sex or race or social status, are transcended (Galatians 3.27–28; 1 Corinthians 12.13). The images are many but the reality is one.

Ministry of the Baptised

So what did we get ourselves into?

All Christians are called to ministry and the baptismal covenant describes in detail the obligations of this call:

All Christians are called to ministry

  • continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers
  • persevere in resisting evil and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord
  • proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ
  • seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbour as yourself
  • strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being

Sounds impossible?

How does this ministry begin?
It starts with us saying, “I will, with God’s help.”

How does this ministry begin? It starts with us saying, “I will, with God’s help.” We are not alone. Through our Baptism we are united with Christ and His people. His power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. 1

Through our baptism, we have passed from darkness to light. We have received the Light of Christ. It is time to let our light shine.

Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Music: Now the Green Blade Rises

The hymn sung at today’s Easter Service this morning reminds us that because of Christ’s Love there is hope for us all. Alleluia!

Now the Green Blade Rises

by John M. C. Crum

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
Thinking that He’d never wake to life again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain,
By Your touch You call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Words: John M. C. Crum, in the Oxford Book of Carols, 1928. 
Music: Noël Nouvelet, 15th Century French melody;
arranged by Martin F. Shaw (1875-1958).

Did you know?: Lent

The Colour of Lent

The church often uses colours for seasons. The colour for Lent is purple, which means both sorrow for the things we have done to hurt God and others, and royalty for our sovereign Jesus Christ.

Palm Sunday Service

Join us at the Cathedral, tomorrow morning at 10:30 for Palm Sunday as we celebrate the royal entrance our King, Jesus into Jerusalem!

The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel!’
John 12:12, 13

Did you know?: Lent

Maundy Thursday

In the past the King or Queen would wash the feet of poor people on Maundy Thursday to remind them of Jesus washing the feet of his friends, the disciples.

This interesting fact has been taken from

Buy your tickets for Seder Supper

Join us for Maundy Thursday as we remember the Last Supper by sharing a meal together. Pick up your $10 ticket at the church office or from the priest at any of the Main Street Corridor parishes.

Seder Supper with Holy Eucharist and Foot/Hand-Washing
Thursday, April 21 at 6:00 p.m.
St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church
160 Smithfield Avenue

Did you know?: Lent

This interesting fact has been taken from

Mothering Sunday

Simnel cake, made with fruit and spices, is often eaten on Mothering Sunday. Traditionally it was made by children and given to their mother. The cake sometimes comes decorated with 11 marzipan balls, one for each of the disciples. The 12th, Judas, who betrayed Jesus, is not included. Want a recipe? Click the cake!

This is your mother calling…

All the Anglicans in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land are invited to join us for Mothering Sunday at the Cathedraltomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. for our Diocesan Mothering Sunday Service and are welcome to join us for our regular service tomorrow morning at 10:30, Sunday, April 3, 2011.

Did you know?: Lent

Half way today

Today marks the half way point of Lent. Are you still “lenting”? Why do 40 days go by so slow when you fast? Hopefully today’s interesting facts from can help you answer these questions.

  • ‘Lenting’ means sticking to fasting during Lent.
  • Lent is thought to last for 40 days, although it is actually 46, as the Sundays are not counted.
  • The word ‘Lent’ appears to have its beginnings in Anglo-Saxon, where the word means to lengthen, indicating that days are getting longer and spring is coming.

Now that you really do have more time on your hands, why not join us for Bible Study today?

A is for Anglican: Anglican History

by Rene Jamieson

Welcome to a new section of the St. John’s web site. This is the place to find answers to your questions about Anglicanism in all its diversity. Send your questions to St. John’s via the Contact Us link. Because there are no specific questions requiring answers at this point, this first ‘issue’ will provide some background about the history of the Anglican Church.

While the Church of England, the mother church of the worldwide Anglican Communion, officially dates from 1534 when the English parliament passed the Act of Supremacy, making Henry VIII the Supreme head of the Church in England, the Church in England has existed since Roman times. Apart from the charming (and no doubt fallacious) legend that has Joseph of Arimathea landing at Glastonbury in the year dot, we know that there have definitely been Christians in what is now the UK since the second century CE.

While the Church of England, the mother church of the worldwide Anglican Communion, officially dates from 1534, the Church in England has existed since Roman times.

The first British martyr, Alban, is variously suggested to have been martyred anywhere between the early years of the third century to sometime in the early years of the fourth century. The prevailing theory among scholars nowadays is that Alban was martyred in 209 during the reign of Emperor Septimus Severus.

The story goes that Alban was a Roman soldier who gave shelter to a Christian priest who was being sought by the authorities. One version of the legend of Alban has the priest spending two days with Alban before his whereabouts became known. In that time, the two men talked about Christianity and the upshot was that Alban renounced his pagan ways and was baptized by his guest. By this time, the priest’s hiding place had been discovered and Alban exchanged clothes with the priest and urged him to flee while he (Alban) held off  the searchers. The priest headed out the back door just as the soldiers burst in through the front door. Seeing Alban dressed in ecclesiastical gear, the soldiers arrested him. He was tried and sentenced to death, steadfastly refusing to abandon his faith. In another version of the story, the soldiers slaughtered Alban on the spot and he became an instant martyr.

In 598, St. Augustine arrived in Kent with a group of Benedictine monks, charged by Pope Gregory I to spread the gospel among the Saxons. The story goes that Gregory had seen Anglo-Saxon slaves for sale in the Roman slave market and was struck by their blond, blue-eyed appearance. He asked who they were and was told that they were Angles, to which he gave the now famous replay, “Non Angli, sed angeli.” (“Not Angles but Angels.”). Augustine’s job was made a little easier because Queen Bertha, wife of  the Saxon king Ethelbert was the daughter of King Charibert of Paris and she was already a Christian. Augustine is generally regarded as the founder of the Christian church in the British Isles.

Until 1534, England was solidly Roman Catholic in its Christian practice, until the reign of Henry VIII. We’ll save that story for another edition of A is for Anglican.

Ash Wednesday

The information below has been taken from

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent. In biblical times, people covered their heads with ashes, or wore sackcloth (a type of rough cloth) as a sign of being sorry for the things they had done wrong.

Traditionally, on Ash Wednesday Christians had a cross shape marked in ashes on their foreheads. This still happens at Ash Wednesday services in some churches. Sometimes the ashes are made by burning Palm Sunday palm crosses from the previous year. Being marked with a cross in ash is a sign of wanting to turn away from wrong things. It is also a reminder that every life ends. As the minister marks each person on the forehead, they say: ‘Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’

Ash Wednesday Activities for Kids:
Saying sorry

Ash Wednesday is a day of penitence (being sorry for wrong things and trying to put them right). Write the word ‘Sorry’ in felt-tip pen on pieces of paper and put them in a bowl of water. As you watch the words dissolve, ask God to forgive you for anything you have done wrong.

After this, you might like to use this prayer:

Dear God,
We are sorry for the wrong things we have done.
We are sorry if we have hurt others.
We ask you to forgive us and help us change.