Christmas stamps again

by Richard on December 7, 2007

These are Royal mail’s Christmas stamps this year:

1st Class – The Angel of Goodwill
Definitive sized designs, available in large letter format, these stamps depict a seated Angel of Goodwill playing a lute, set against a snowy backdrop with winter foliage.

2nd Class - The Angel of Peace
Definitive sized designs, available in large letter format, these stamps feature the Angel of Peace playing a trumpet, set against a wintry, festive landscape.

78p – The Angel of Joy
In standard definitive size, the Angel of Joy stamp features a winged heavenly messenger playing the flute in a traditional Christmas setting.

£1.24 – The Angel of Glory
In standard definitive size, this stamp features Marco Ventura’s illustration of the Angel of Glory with wings outstretched. The angel is shown playing a tambourine amidst falling snow.

I’m not familiar with the Angels of Glory, Joy, Peace and Goodwill, so I’m not sure if this a reference to a tradition or something that the artist has made up. But the reason for having angels on the stamps comes about because they commemorate the tercentenary of the birth of Charles Wesley who wrote the popular Christmas carol, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. That doesn’t strike me as an attempt to subvert the Christmas message. If you want to see these stamps in greater detail — I think they’re rather beautiful — there is a magnifier on the Royal Mail site.

Two further stamps picture the Madonna and Child.

A fine set this year, I reckon. No doubt I’ll be sending some as Christmas presents.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Kim 12.07.07 at 7:16 pm

What, no kick-ass angel from Revelation?

And forget the sell-out to secularism: it’s the feminists who are calling the shots. Angels are MEN! So I demand equal time. If there are going to be female angels, I insist on a male Madonna. A painting of “Mario and Child” would be just the ticket. I’d put it on the cards of all my conservative Christian friends. Hey DH, give us your address so I’ll have one to send! :)

2

malc 12.07.07 at 9:23 pm

I take it that you don’t the £1.24 stamp…. costs too much or something….

3

Richard 12.07.07 at 9:42 pm

Thanks for noticing that, Malc. I’ve put it right. It would be a shame to miss the tambourine shaking angel!

4

Beth 12.07.07 at 11:03 pm

You can send stamps as Christmas presents?

5

Richard 12.07.07 at 11:40 pm

A set of stamps makes a fine present…

6

Patricia 12.08.07 at 8:10 am

The existence of the Madonna & Child stamps, is I am told, not widely publicised and unless you specifically request them you are given ‘Angels’. Could this be a ploy by the Post Office to say ‘There is no call for them!’ Call me a grumpy old cynic if you like.

7

Beth 12.08.07 at 1:07 pm

Oh, I see - like a presentation pack or something. I used to collect them when I was younger. All makes sense.

8

Craig 12.08.07 at 6:43 pm

But what have Angels got to do with Charles Wesley? - they were a George Whitefield alteration to Wesley’s hymn “Hark how all the welkin rings” - the first of many alterations over the years - I’m not sure Wesley would recognise what we sing now as his work.

9

Richard 12.08.07 at 8:11 pm

Wesley would certainly have recognized it — Whitfield’s version was published in 1753. Yes, the hymn has been altered. Shortened, for one thing! But it remains essentially the same hymn.

10

Beth 12.10.07 at 9:43 pm

I guess I won’t be popular, but I’ve been thinking about this, and I’m not sure I’m at all bothered whether the Post Office issues Christian stamps or not. After all, it’s a service used by everyone in the country, and a lot of those people are not Christian. I’ve recently had the experience of having to ask the woman at the PO counter not to put a Christmas stamp on a Hanukah card I was sending, and it made me think that all this public emphasis on Christmas must be a real pain in the arse for people of other faiths, especially those whose own celebrations fall around this time. Something as simple as a stamp shouldn’t be a site for religious debate or statement. It should just be a stamp.

In the event she put a stamp on the card with a design that she described as a “medieval soldier” on it. It occurred to me to wonder whether it was a Crusader…

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