Merry Christmas! Well, almost.
Okay, maybe I went back on my word: last week was supposed to be my final post of the year. However, when Christmas Eve falls on my typical posting day...
Keep in mind that we're still in Advent today. Many of our church brethren will hold midnight mass tonight. Christmas Tide officially begins then.
This evening, though, we'll gather for a wonderful worship service. It's intentionally congregation-led, as opposed to staff-run. Most folks begin their family/friend celebrations tonight and all through the week. You may recall, at baptism, the church promises a much bigger family on a Spiritual basis than our typical fleshly-based families. Tonight is a night of acknowledging just that by sharing in the re-telling of Christ's birth.
You'll see our folks leading prayers, reading Scripture, and offering Special Music pieces. Together, the whole church will sing carols and join in the praying. We'll conclude tonight by circling around the sanctuary, lighting our own hand-held candles from our neighbor's, lighted from the Christ Candle; and, we'll sing "Silent Night" before taking Christ's light out with us wherever we'll go.
Merry Christmas, indeed! I can think of no better way to begin the Christmas Tide.