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Sunday 3rd January – Icon of the Day

A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year For a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter.' And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory, Lying down in the melting snow. There were times we regretted The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces, And the silken girls bringing sherbet. Then the camel men cursing and grumbling and running away, and wanting their liquor and women, And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters, And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly And the villages dirty and charging high prices: A hard time we had of it. At the end we preferred to travel all night, Sleeping in snatches, With the voices singing in our ears, saying That this was all folly. Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley, Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation; With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness, And three trees on the low sky, And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow. Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel, Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver, And feet kicking the empty wine-skins. But there was no information, and so we continued And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory. All this was a long time ago, I remember, And I would do it again, but set down This set down This: were we led all that way for Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, But had thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death. We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, With an alien people clutching their gods. I should be glad of another death.


‘The Journey of the Magi’ by T.S. Eliot


To hear a narration of the poem, illustrated by St Mary's Nativity Magi, click here:

https://youtu.be/Ra02jjfYxR8



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Image: Three Wise Men from the East. Part of the mosaic on the left wall of the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare-Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy.

Photo: ‘Ввласенко’, 2016, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.


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In St Mary’s prayer cycle for this month, we pray for all who work in conservation and protecting the resources of the earth.


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In these unprecedented times, St Mary’s is reaching out and supporting our community in many ways, especially online. But with activities in our buildings greatly restricted, we no longer receive the previous level of financial support from collections at Services, nor from hiring out the church and hall buildings.


If you can help us financially to continue to offer Christ's love to our community in these difficult times, as those before us have done down the centuries, please consider making a donation by debit/credit card and to Gift Aid it if possible, by clicking this link to 'givealittle':

https://givealittle.co/campaigns/4360add2-de5e-456a-9958-34f5276a3887


Thank you!

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