Worship During Advent and Christmas

Watch, Wait, and Wonder

As always, we begin our Advent worship on Sundays in the dark and with a procession of light to the Advent wreath. Watch for the circle of light to grow. Listen to the words of ancient prophets and early Christians, and encounter Jesus, who comes to us in the Gospel of Luke. We gather around the Table in anticipation and hope for the fullness of God’s reign. The color blue in Advent marks this time differently. Blue is the color of the bright sky just before sunrise. Just so, we are a people living in-between Christ coming once, and the promise of Christ’s coming again.

The First Sunday of Advent, December 2

We ask God, “Stir up your power and come.” On this opening Sunday we find Jesus proclaiming the end! Watchfulness is the key, not for predictions but for the ways of God unfolding each day.

The Second Sunday of Advent, December 9

We ask God, “Stir up our hearts.” Today John the Baptizer enters with a powerful call to change. We are invited to wonder where God is leading us to prepare the way of the Lord.

The Third Sunday of Advent, December 16

Traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday, this is a day for rejoicing. We ask God, “Stir up the wills of your faithful people.” Contrary to the notion that following Jesus is a chore, today we watch and wonder and mark our life in Christ a great joy.

The Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 23

Today we hear the story of the meeting between Elizabeth and Mary, two women filled with faith and the Holy Spirit. Our waiting is now enhanced with the promise of the coming of the Christ Child.  With great fervency we pray again: “Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come.”

Holden Evening Prayer on Wednesdays

All are welcome to this beautiful, centering service of light, song, and prayer. We will gather from 7:00 to 7:20 p.m. in the sanctuary on Wednesdays, Nov. 28, Dec 5, and Dec. 12. (There will not be an evening service on Dec. 19 due to preparations for Christmas Eve worship services.) Come as you are and receive the gift of a mid-week Advent ritual.

Something New: Advent Morning Prayer

Beginning in Advent, we will have Morning Prayer in the chapel at 9:15 each day, Monday through Thursday.  All are welcome!  Using the Daily Lectionary readings, we will pray the appointed psalm, hear the appointed lessons and join in prayers of praise and intercession.  The prayer time should end at about 9:30. Morning Prayer begins December 3.

Christmas Worship

Monday, December 24 , 2018
+ Christmas Eve

Eucharist
5:00 p.m.

A very special Christmas Eve liturgy led by the Youth Choir and the Children’s Choirs presenting the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke’s Gospel. Come at 4:30 for the special pre-service music!

Festive Candlelight Eucharist
11:00 p.m.

At this liturgy we “pull out all the stops” for a festive Eucharist.   “Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving …” led by the Chancel Choir. Come at 10:30 to hear the beautiful music of the pre-service recital.

Tuesday, December 25 , 2018
+ Christmas Day

Eucharist
11:00 a.m.

Christmas Day Holy Communion with beloved carols and the good news from the Gospel of John.

Sunday, December 30, 2018
+ First Sunday of Christmas

Eucharist with Lessons and Carols
8:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Gather around God’s gifts of Word and Meal on the First Sunday of Christmas with the Service of Lessons and Carols.

 

(Image: Swanson, John August. A Visit, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. Used by permission under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License.)