Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Tis The Season

Today at staff meeting I proofed the worship order for the Christmas Eve Service. Oh, what a sense of accomplishment that was! Although there is still one more choir rehearsal before our special Sunday of music this weekend, it is finalizing the Christmas Eve service that allows me to feel that all the pieces are in place for our church's celebrations.

Sunday morning we will have lots of beautiful Christmas hymns, extra instrumentalists, and, as has become our custom, a sermon given as a first person dramatization by Pastor Randy. This year he is portraying the Innkeeper. He does this in costume, with all of his message memorized. The job of the choir is to sing two anthems that will support the theme of this sermon. People love this special service, and every year folks invite their friends and family members to come especially to experience it.

Then, Christmas Eve, we will have our traditional evening candle-light service. Scripture will be read. Again, there will be Christmas hymns and carols, soloists and instrumentalists, and the children acting out the Christmas story under Ellen's supervision. At the end, with all the the lights out, we will all sing "Silent Night" as we light each other's candles. The room grows gently brighter as we sing each verse. We all remember the Light of the World, whose birth we celebrate.

I still have some presents to get together. I still need to clean (and baby-proof!!) the house for the arrival of our far away children. Haven't done any baking yet. But all is well. We're ready to worship.


DramaMama said...

Wait - is Pastor Randy on the short side, w/tight curly graying hair and glasses? I only ask b/c we've had a pastor (Randy, I think!) come and do these 1st person dramas...how odd if they were one in the same! Even if they weren't, I must say those types of dramas really get me. As part of the drama team myself, I marvel when one person alone can draw you in and make you forget everything going on in your life. Glad to hear the service is coming together!

Joyce said...

No, Our Pastor Randy doesn't look like that. He does do this type of sermon every year at Christmas and on Palm Sunday. It's very effective.

C. Marie Byars said...

Howdy from small-town New Mexico! I am the one-and-only musician at our church, which meets in a funeral home. So, our worship is much different. The chapel instruments are so cruddy that I just haul my (new-ish) 77 key Casio keyboard in (a step up from the 66 Casio w/a sticking key!!). We do primarily traditional with one contemporary or alternative-style piece thrown in. So, organ, harpsichord, piano, marimba, rhythm (which I almost never use) all there together. This Sunday, my kids are part of the reading of Luke 2---my youngest has to memorize his line. The kids are singing the chorus of "Amen" (from "Lilies of the Field") & adults connected w/Sunday school are singing the verses. No choir for Christmas Eve, but I will sing "Stille Nacht" (German "Silent Night") as the candles are lit & the lights dimmed in preparation for everyone to sing "Silent Night" at the end. Our whole service is one of coordinated Bible readings & carols. I've invited half the staff of the corner convenience store---the people I most commonly rub shoulders with. No baking here at all---we get given too many sweets over the holidays (pastor's family). Well, this is long, but your message triggered a lot of thinking from this end. Much love & good wishes!

Joyce said...

Marie, it's good to hear from you again! If there's love in the room, you'll have a wonderful service, even if you have to be the one-woman-band. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season at your house.

Rose said...

Christmas Eve is my favorite service of the year; ours is a candlelight one, too. As a child, though, my reasons for enjoying it were a little different--in part, because Santa always came to our house while we were at church:)

I know a lot of work goes into preparing the service, especially when many musical presentations are included. My hat is off to you, Joyce, for all your hard work!

Joyce said...

Rose, I love planning it all. I think the reason I stress a little is that I want so badly for it to be really beautiful. But no matter what happens, it always is.

Your story about being excited about Santa, reminds me of our kids, when they were little, being excited for our monthly communion service-because there was a cookie social afterwards!!