Christmas Eve! Christmas Day!
Advent is a season of patience and preparation, and Christmas is the celebration for which we have been waiting and preparing (somewhat) patiently. This year at Memorial we will have four services on Christmas Eve – splendor and joy from 8 am to midnight. We hope that most of you will join us for at least one of these services.
Faith @ 8, our Contemporary Eucharist service, will celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent at 8:00 am in Upper Farnham Hall. Faith @ 8 is more discussion based and free-flowing than the traditional services at Memorial, and as such engages an entirely different side of your brain. If you have ever felt that traditional services leave you with too many questions and no one to ask, Faith @ 8 may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. All are welcome!
At 10:30 am we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent with Holy Eucharist, Rite II. With choir and acolytes and welcomers and all, we will close out the season of anticipation in glorious fashion and immediately dive in to Christmas Eve with the “greening of the church” and the assembly of Angel Baskets.
An annual tradition at Memorial, we decorate the church with fresh cut greens and trees from Feldhof Farm. Members of the congregation will travel to Feldhof Farm on Saturday the 16th to choose and cut the trees for the church, which the Fanning family generously donate in memory of Dougie Wells. On Sunday after church we will put up all the trees and arrange the greens, while those who wish to assemble Angel Baskets for members of the congregation who may be in need this Christmas.
Once the greening is completed we will take a brief, but well earned, break before returning for the 5:00 pm Christmas Pageant service. At 5:00 the service is centered around the story of Mary and Joseph and the infant Jesus, as portrayed by the youth of Memorial. It’s the same story and many of the same words that we will hear later in the evening, but with a special interpretation that only children can give it. If you would like to be in bed sooner, rather than later, this is the service for you.
At last, at 10:00 pm, the choir and musical guests will begin the last preparations for the arrival of Christmas. The service, sometimes referred to as “Midnight Mass” will begin at 10:30. With candlelight and all the music you remember this is one of the highlights of the liturgical year, and it comes right at the beginning! The service will end just before midnight with joy and fellowship and blessings of peace on earth and goodwill to all. This is, for many of us, a necessary refreshment after the harried and sometimes impatient period that is Advent. If you are in need of a break and a reminder of what Christmas is really all about, we’d love to see you at 10:30 on December 24.
On Christmas Day we will celebrate with an informal Eucharist with carols. A lovely, quiet way to start the Christmas season officially, it serves, for many, as a touchstone in the midst of Christmas Day busy-ness. Come join us for that bit of joy and celebration on Christmas Day.