February - March 2019

Dear Friends,

As you are all well aware the Christmas Season comes to an end at Candlemas. Candlemas is one of our High Days when we commemorate the Purification of the BVM and the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. In the period before the Reformation Candlemas was one of the highlights of Aberdeen's Religious and Social calendar. There will be Gaelic Mass at 12.00 noon on the day and our Parish Mass on the Sunday will be Candlemas transferred. There will also be a Sung Evensong and Benediction at 4 pm. Bishop Anne will be in attendance at that and it is hoped that as many of you as possible will avail yourselves of the opportunity to come and pray with the Bishop at this service. There will be a Tea afterwards in the Hall where people can meet more socially.

On the Eve of St Kentigern I was at an Ecumenical Gathering in Dunfermline Abbey to wish Mark Calder ‘Good Luck' and ‘God Speed' on his Runs focused on Scottish and North of England Saints, to raise funds on behalf of persecuted Iraqi Christians. Iraq contains some of the oldest Christian congregations in the Middle East. Recently there have been appeals from the leaders of the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syrian Catholic Church and the Syrian Orthodox Church, the three main churches in the Nineveh plains for help. We of course share a common liturgical inheritance with the Syrian Orthodox Church due to our Jacobite liturgists in the 18 th Century. I am hoping that Mark will be with us on Sunday 3 rd of March when you will have opportunity to hear him speak and sing! It will be a good chance for us as a congregation to give to his fundraising efforts. He will be beginning Runs in Aberdeenshire about that time setting off from King's College Chapel. You can read about his plans elsewhere in the magazine.

Ash Wednesday is on the 6 th of March. Lent is late this year due to the lateness of Easter, which is probably as late as it can possibly be. All due to the moon of course! However there will be Lent Classes as usual. Following the success of last year we will again be holding classes on a Tuesday Late Morning/Lunchtime and on a Wednesday Evening. It is a course designed by the Jesuits, published by the Loyola Press, and like last year it will be based on art. Please avail yourself of the opportunity to come along to this. It is a good disciplined way to observe Lent as well as an opportunity to share the Faith with one another.

Our organist Jamie is moving on to pastures new. He will shortly be taking up duties at Holburn West Church of Sc otland. We wish him well in his new field of interest. I am pleased that Hazel Mair has expressed interest in coming to play the organ at St Margaret's. She comes to us with a great deal of teaching and playing experience and we look forward to welcoming her into this community.

On The Baptism of the Lord I mentioned from the pulpit that the pastoral offices at the moment were taken up with Weddings and Baptisms. Now that is something to rejoice about. It is a good start to the year and long may it continue!

With all sincere good wishes,

As Aye,

Fr. Emsley