These words from the Book of Wisdom are closely associated with this time: ‘For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, thy all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne …’

‘Gentle silence’ may seem a long way off at times, but it is the gift of God, full of grace. May we be able to enter into it with peace and joy, and may God bless you this day.