Lighting the Advent candles every Sunday has always been one of my favorite things leading up to Christmas. Every Sunday becomes quiet and thoughtful. We are reminded to consider the promises made to us, the peace that we will receive, the joy we experience, and the love we share. When I thought we might not be able to meet for worship this year, I decided that I still wanted to be able to light candles at home!
We want to wish everyone a blessed Christmas. Rise above today’s chaos and diversions to enjoy your blessings and the Gift of Christmas Day! This picture was taken at one of the Christmas Eve services and oh how we miss the beautiful music and voices brought to everyone during this joyful season! Rejoice in memories and thank God for all the photos we can share and enjoy. Merry Christmas!! Kenny and Becky.
Martha says Merry Christmas too!
Children's Christmas Party
The Story of Christmas
Sunday School Christmas Program
Well, Christine and I were talking about memories that make an impression on you when you are young. And I shared these memories with her, not really thinking of our virtual Christmas Program. But later Christine asked me to write this down to share. And it seems very fitting to share now, given that Rev. Scott has gone on to the sing in the heavenly choir this Christmas! And I’ll share another little fun Christmas Eve Memory too. (There are really too many!)
I think maybe we are very impressionable around 9 or 10 or so years old, I know I was, and maybe that’s why these memories are so vivid to me. Rev. Scott always prepared a beautiful Christmas Eve Service, and to me they seemed very reverent and mystical. This one stands out in my mind very much.
For this particular Christmas Eve, Rev. Scott moved all the chairs out of the choir area, and he put three medium size fresh cut evergreen trees there, and dressed them only with small white lights. The pulpit was moved over to the right hand side. The walls were hung with antique punched tin candle holder lanterns with candles burning in them. There was just one light for the readers at the pulpit. I don’t remember that there was any light on the choir, who were sitting over to the left (where we normally put the Christmas tree now.) Rev. Scott always emphasized memorizing the music, and so maybe they didn’t need much light. He always told us in the junior choir that he wanted us to be “looking up like angels” when we sang. So I suppose that was true for the adult choir too!
The program was the entire Christmas scripture, from the prophecy through the arrival of the magi. Interwoven were lovely hymns and poems. Rev. Scott sang bass (of course), and read some of the poetry. The scripture was all read by Mr. Smith. As a child I was impressed with how well he read, and his fine deep voice. I can picture him well, with his white hair and white beard and dark suit.
In the dark sanctuary with just one light on the readers and Bible at the pulpit, the three small trees, and the hanging lanterns, it seemed that everything else in the world fell away. We could have been worshipping outside. And it seemed very easy to feel the mystery, even for a pre-teen child, the great mystery of God coming to earth that first Christmas in the person of Baby Jesus to save all of human kind. And then we passed the candle light from one to another, as we still do now, and the dark sanctuary was slowly filled with light on the faces of all our dear congregation.
And for another fun memory! Rev. Scott loved including the youth and children in so many ways, and including things any of us suggested. I remember one of the Christmas Eve Services when we sang a “brand new” recently published (1969) Christmas Hymn. We sang two verses of “Pass it On” as we lit each other’s candles and passed the Light of Christ’s love through the congregation. And then we sang Silent Night after everyone’s candle was aglow.
OK, that was fun to share! I hope you each can remember a Christmas Eve service of your own when the love and light of Christ felt so close you could wrap it all around you. God Bless you all.
From all of us at North Buffalo ...
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Call In The New Testament
Faith That Pleases God
From Darkness To Light
God Frees And Redeems
God's Exceptional Choice
God's Law Is Love
Jesus Calls Us
Justice Law History
Partners In A New Creation
The Righteous Reign Of God