Friday, December 18, 2009

The Friday Five


In less than a week we'll have my favorite service of the year at church. I love the Christmas Eve service.
So this week's Friday Five is:
Five things I love about the Christmas Eve Service at church.
1. The atmosphere. Everyone, even those who claim to be Christmas Curmudgeons, are rather merry and cheerful. :) And we're reminded again what Christmas is REALLY about.
2. The decorations. The overhead lights are dimmed and candlelight and tiny white Christmas lights shine like stars. Creamy white poinsettias, evergreen boughs, golden ribbon. It's just all so beautiful.
3. The surprise. Every year the pastor has a special treat for us. A poem he's written, a song he sings, a drama, something that is his gift to his congregation each year. He's been here more than a decade, so he really has to work hard to come up with something original each year now, though I wouldn't mind at all if he duplicated something. :)
4. The music. I really enjoy singing carols with my church friends.
5. The candlelight ending. Each person gets an unlit candle, we stand in a big circle in the sanctuary, and the flame goes around the circle until everyone has a lit candle. We sing one last carol before departing.
How about you? Do you have a church service on Christmas Eve? Do you enjoy it? Do you have a favorite memory?

15 comments:

  1. I am SO sad. We're going to miss Christmas Eve service. It really is bumming me out. But we'll be traveling on Christmas Eve...sigh.

    I like all those things you said too...except the pastor thing. That's pretty cool!

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  2. Our church has done so many different things on Christmas Eve that we don't have a tradition attached to it! But for our family, we always have a special snack dinner and play games on Christmas Eve. Then we light our last advent candle before going to bed.

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  3. The church decorations sound so pretty.

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  4. I love the atmosphere of our Candlelight Service. There is a certain awe and wonder that comes with it. I love that it really focuses on the beauty of Jesus. I love lighting the candles and singing. This year the pastor (my husband!) has passed out white and gold pipe cleaners every service during Decemeber and we have made ornaments (he gives us ideas of what to do...star, cross, etc) At the end of the sermon, we all go put them on the Christmas tree at the front of the church. It looks beautiful!!! :)

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  5. Oh, I love the ending of the Christmas Eve service when the candles are lit and the lights are turned down.

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  6. We don't have a Christmas Eve service, but this Sunday is our Christmas program. I really enjoy the singing, and the children performing the Christmas poems and speeches.

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  7. Christmas Eve service was often the only time we went to church when I was growing up. I remember me and the sister closest to me in age holding those little candles laughing. She would put hers teasingly close to the fur coat on the back of the chair in front of us. Good times.

    Merry Christmas!
    ~ Wendy

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  8. It sounds like a lovely service! What a wonderful gift from your pastor too--I've never heard of that before, but it shows such a giving heart!

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  9. You know, as a kid we never went to the services for Christmas or Easter. We went all the rest of the year, just not on them. I grew up thinking that we didn't for special family time, but now that we've attended a few at our Church I'm beginning to think it's because my parents had no desire to stand the whole service to allow those "occassional" visitors the good seats.

    I truly can't believe how full the church gets on special celebrations. I wish they'd join us all year long.

    We missed last year due to a power outage. I figured they'd cancel it, but I guess they did it by candle light. Oh, how I wish I'd have gone.

    We'll be there this year as two of our girls are singing in the youth choir for it. They've been practicing for weeks.

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  10. We have a candle lighting through the congregation. And our pastor comes dressed as someone different from the Christmas story every year and tells it from their point of view, always very cool. And the songs, love them!

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  11. We have a Christmas Eve service every year. It's candlelit and we have a lovely message and the music is great.

    This year we're also having a special New Year's service just for worship. Woo hoo! I can't wait.

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  12. Oh, yes, Erica, the Christmas Eve service is my favorite part of the season! The children are the main part of the service and I love listening to their recitations and singing. Of course, we get to sing too!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  13. Several things went through my mind while reading this post:

    1. Great, now there's more expectations upon me to come up with something grand and glorious for the Christmas Eve service (I'd tried talking the Sorensen family into a Kazoo Quartet of Christmas Favorites, but the two teens thought they'd have to commit hari-kari out of sheer embarrassment at the mere suggestion - go figure).

    2. The other four delights far over-shadow anything I'll ever do on that night of nights: the singing, the lights (all symbolic of the Light which has come into darkness), the fellowship, the hush (big theme this year, eh?).

    3. The tremendous encouragement this brings to me in planning and looking forward to this special service. I can't tell you how few comments like this I receive about that service. Oh, there's always the words that evening: "Wonderful service", "That was certainly nice", and "Thanks." To have things put so specifically helps me realize it really is worth the effort and time.

    4. Curmudgeons? Curmudgeons? About Christmas? How dare I... er, I mean, how dare they be a curmudgeon. Rats, found out once again. Bah! Humbug!

    Thanks Erica.

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  14. We'll be singing a cantata at today's service (The Mystery and the Majesty by Joseph Martin) and I love being transported into worship through the music. We'll have two Christmas Eve services, an early family service and a midnight candlelight one.

    I remember one late Christmas Eve many years ago when we lit all our candles and sang "Silent Night". When we were done the minister suggested we keep the candles lit and take them with us out onto the street, still singing. The symbolism of taking Christ's light out into the world was very meaningful.

    Merry Christmas to you, Erica.

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  15. I love the bated breaths, the flicking candles, the wide-eyed wonder in both wrinkled and smooth faces.

    A prayer for our family is for my daughter to find us a candlelight service in her town as we will be away from home!

    Merry Chrsitmas, Erica!

    Patti
    www.pattilacy.com/blog

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