A blessing to celebrate the Nativity tonight at Holy Trinity Saint Benedict Episcopal Church in Alhambra, where the devoted, energetic rector, the Rev. Brent Quines Jr., preached and celebrated while I sat in the front row and joined in a beautiful liturgy that included 12, count ’em 12, Christmas hymns and songs. Assisted by Brent and Jasmine’s four-year-old niece Yna (who also assisted Brent as he said mass and then processed out with the altar party), I offered a Christmas greeting on behalf of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

Most members of this parish, who drive in from all over southern California, work in health care. I thanked them for manifesting the love of the Christ child to all our communities’ families on the front lines of pandemic. After the service, they authorized a brief lowering of our masks for a selfie.

Word of God, now in flesh appearing! This holy night of nights, may all the blessings of Christmas be with you and those you love.