Upcoming Service Notes: Christmas Sunday, Christmas Eve, and the Sunday after Christmas

CHRISTMAS SUNDAY  On Sunday, December 20th, at 10:00 AM we will have our traditional Christmas Sunday celebration, with the story of the Annunciation and Birth read by Bridget Peters, Storme Odell and Tony Brainerd.  The readings will be interspersed with the beloved Christmas carols, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen and Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming and It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. Ted and Dotti Unkles will light the four Advent candles, Hope, Peace, Joy and Love, with the children’s help, reminding us that Christmas is not here yet, even though we already have begun the celebration.

The choir will sing the lovely Christina Rossetti poem, Love Came Down at Christmas set to a tune composed by E. Latimer as the Anthem, and the plainsong Blessed Dawning of Salvation as the Introit. John Atwood will play Magnificat I by D. Buxtehude, and We March, We March Gayly by J.-F. Dandrieu, and J. S. Bach’s famous Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.

The sermon will reflect on what it was that made Mary able to do what she did, bearing and giving birth to Christ.  She serves as a model for how we can fulfill our own callings to bring God’s love and light into the world both as individuals and as a church.  The service will end by ushering us into the last days of Advent’s tasks of waiting and preparation, sending us out singing the hymn, O Come, O Come Emmanuel and the benediction set to the ancient Advent tune Conditor Alme.

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE   Please note the new time! We will be having the Christmas Eve service of lessons, carols and candles at 6:00 PM this year to help families with young children attend and others who have Christmas Eve gatherings.  Besides the lessons and carols we will have a Christmas story, special choral and organ music, and Bridget Peters and Betsy Alexander singing a candlelit duet of Once in Royal David’s City.  We will end with the congregation lighting candles and singing Silent Night.  The service lasts approximately one hour.  It is a magical, moving and beautiful service–a good one to invite friends and neighbors to attend.

CAROL SING AND FAVORITE CHRISTMAS THINGS SUNDAY  On Sunday, December 27th, at 10:00AM, we will have a very informal service with a carol-sing by request—whatever favorites you did not get to sing enough during Advent. You are also invited to bring a brief favorite Christmas story to tell, either personal story or a classic tale, or poems or quotes or songs—a kind of inspirational pot-luck. Feel free to bring favorite Christmas cookies and other treats to share as well!