December 2017 - January 2018

Dear Friends,

First of all I want to say that I thought that we had totally inspirational time in Church in the Masses for All Saints' and All Souls' and also Remembrance Sunday. Remembering the dead is an important part of our religious experience and expression. November is the time that we remember the dead. Remembering the dead is a quintessential part of our Scottish Episcopalian Faith. We believe that the departed are in the nearer presence of God, in that place of refreshment and light, and that through a period of purification, the departed are going from strength to strength in the everlasting habitations. This is a central doctrine of our Jacobite theological tradition and that it is why we pray for the dead. A very human and humane way of looking at things. The ‘milk of human kindness' to quote William Shakespeare. This was very much the mind set of Archibald Campbell, Bishop of Aberdeen 1721-1724, who was the first Bishop to be elected to a Diocese in our Church and not by the whim of the College of Bishops.

We pray for the dead at the altar and in the nearer presence of Christ who is truly present amongst us. That is the sort of message we have to get across to our contemporary society that we do believe in hope. Even in death!

It was great to see the Sea Cadets in Church and I think that this year they particularly excelled themselves. To have so many young people in Church is a blessing and they were exemplary. I am sure that you would agree with me in saying… ‘Well done!'

Advent is now coming upon us, my favourite time of the liturgical year, quickly followed by Christmas.

We have a baptism at Christingle I am pleased to say. That is good. Encourage your own young to come to Church. It is the future. Every Blessing for Christmas and the New Year,

As Aye,

Fr. Emsley