Advent: 1 December 2023

Tracy Niven
Friday 1 December 2023

Good morning,

Welcome to the first message in this year’s Advent Calendar from the Chaplaincy.  Each day until 25 December, there will be a daily email to the Chaplaincy mailing list from me exploring the Christmas story – or perhaps the interwoven stories which are told around the birth of Jesus.  This year there are two special features.  Each day there will be a photograph which I have taken at some point over the years.  Many of my photographs were very helpfully catalogued by Natasha Robertson, the Chaplaincy intern, over the summer so that they can easily be searched by subject.  I’ve made use of her work in choosing an image for each day.  I have also written a poem for each day in the Japanese haiku form of 17 syllables, three lines of five, then seven, then five syllables.  And so this year’s Calendar could be known as Ding-dong merrily on haiku!  (Thank you to a member of the staff discussion group Turning Pages for that gem.)

Each day’s image and haiku will also be shared in a blogpost, and on the Chaplaincy’s Instagram and Facebook page.  You are welcome to respond, especially if a picture or poem particularly strikes you or elicits creativity of your own.  You are also welcome to forward the email to anyone you want.  Or indeed, anyone can ask to be added to the mailing list.

And so to today.  For the first day of December and of the Calendar, an image of Iona:

In Advent’s short days,
the year’s end and beginning,
death and coming birth


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