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ADVENT & CHRISTMAS

at Christ Episcopal Church

Advent at Christ Church is a time of waiting and of watching, of listening and of breathing, and of focusing on our search for Christ’s peace in our lives as we prepare ourselves to celebrate his birth. This focus encourages us to slow down; Advent challenges the commotion that is commonly found around the holidays, and helps us stay grounded.

The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” The center of this season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000-year-old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. Scripture readings for Advent will reflect this emphasis on the Second Advent, including themes of accountability for faithfulness at His coming, judgment on sin, and the hope of eternal life.

In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a congregation as they affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power.

Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, anticipation, preparation, and of longing.

It is the season that begins the liturgical year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day - the Sunday nearest November 30th - and ends on Christmas Eve, December 24th. This year, the season of Advent begins on Sunday, November 27, 2022.

The liturgical color of the season is traditionally purple but has been replaced by blue in many churches (to differentiate it from Lent), and that is the case here at Christ Episcopal Church.

In the Book of Common Prayer, Christmas Day is one of the seven principal feasts. The Christmas season lasts twelve days, from Christmas Day until January 5th - the day before the Epiphany. Its season includes Christmas Day, the First Sunday after Christmas Day, the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and may include the Second Sunday after Christmas Day. In many parishes, the main liturgical celebrations of Christmas take place on Christmas Eve.

Below are the Advent and Christmas season services at Christ Episcopal Church. Also, be sure to regularly check our parish calendar for the complete schedule of parish and community events. You are always welcome to join us - whether you join us each Sunday, visit more seasonally, or have never entered our doors - for the value of worship and fellowship never diminishes.

 

We wish you all a blessed and healthy season.

Christmas Schedule

Christ Church's

Advent and Christmas Services

Morning and Evening Prayer Livestreams

Monday - Friday at 7:00 a.m.

Fridays at 7:00 p.m.

via our website and Facebook

Our virtual tradition continues as wonderfully dedicated and faithful members of the Christ Church family lead us in a brief prayer service livestream to carry us through the Advent season.

Noonday Devotionals

Monday - Friday at 12 noon on Facebook

Throughout Advent

In addition to our daily Morning Prayer, Christ Church parishioners will present a daily Advent Noonday Prayer. This is a brief (5-10 minutes) service that you can take part in during your lunch break, or when you have a few moments and want to reflect on the day (these are available for the remainder of each day after they are broadcast at 12:00 noon). A personal moment of worship consisting of a Bible verse, prayer, and a daily meditation concludes with a piece of inspirational music to carry you through the remainder of your day. You can join us here.

Christ Church on Christmas Eve

Saturday, December 24th

at 4:00, 8:00, and 11:00 p.m. in the New Brick Sanctuary

and via the CEC website, Facebook, and YouTube

Music begins 30 minutes prior to the 8 and 11 p.m. services

Our youth are an integral part of the 4:00 Christmas Eve gathering at Christ Church, a family service that includes a live Nativity. All kids from pre-school - 5th grade are invited to have a role, so email us at info@christchurchcolumbia.org or call the Church Office to participate.


That evening, our excellent choir and instrumentalists will lead the seasonal music presentation prior to both uplifting Festal Eucharist services, so arrive at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. to grab great seats and join us as we celebrate in joyous song!

 

Christmas Day Worship

Sunday, December 25th

at 10:00 a.m. in the New Brick Sanctuary

and livestreamed on the CEC website, Facebook, and YouTube

Christmas Day Eucharist is a truly wonderful service, and in 2022 it takes place in the Sanctuary of New Brick. And so, as the hymnist suggested... “Come and worship… worship Christ, the new-born King!”

New Year's Day Eucharist

Sunday, January 1st

at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. in the New Brick Sanctuary

and via website, Facebook, and YouTube

We will gather together for this first Sunday morning of 2023, and collectively begin the New Year with Holy Eucharist and prayers for a healthier, safer, and more peaceful year-to-come.

Check back often for additional services and information.

christ episcopal church always follows current health guidelines as directed by the episcopal diocese of maryland and the howard county health department.  contact us if you have any questions.

Past Services

Advent I

Sunday, November 27th

at 8:00 in Old Brick

9:00 Family Worship in New Brick

and 10:30 a.m. with music and choir in the New Brick Sanctuary

10:30 a.m. is livestreamed via the CEC website, Facebook, and YouTube

Begin the Advent season with us, either in person or online. We will have two Sunday morning services in the Sanctuary of New Brick. You can also worship virtually at 10:30 a.m. by using the above links.

Confirmation Weekend

December 2 - 4

This season, several candidates will affirm their commitment to the Church, and the Rt. Rev. Robert Ihloff will Confirm them. Their special weekend begins with a retreat on Friday and Saturday and concludes with the Confirmation Service at our Sunday 10:30 a.m. worship.

Advent Quiet Day

Presented by the Christ Church Spiritual Life Commission

Led by the Reverend Barbara Seras​

Saturday, December 3rd

from 8:30-12:00 noon in Old Brick

This year, Advent Quiet Day is an in-person gathering, and everyone's welcome to join us and spend time together to help us all focus and retain our perspective in the hectic weeks leading up to Christmas Day. We are blessed to have Reverend Barbara Seras leading this morning's retreat.

First Wednesday Fellowship

Wednesday, December 7th

at 6:00 a.m. in the Great Hall of New Brick

Join us for the final FWF gathering of the year. We'll begin at 6 p.m. for a communal supper of catered Jamaican food, and follow it up with activity time starting around 7:00. This month, we will decorate cookies to be delivered with our outreach meal ministry, make holiday cards to send to shut-ins and to those in the military, and have a white elephant gift exchange. For this, simply bring an inexpensive, wrapped gift - it can be silly, tacky, light-hearted, and/or fun!

Rosemary for Remembrance:

worship for when Christmas is a difficult time

Saturday, December 10th

at 6:00 p.m. in the New Brick Sanctuary

and via the CEC website, Facebook, and YouTube

We have all known a great amount of loss this year. The impact of losing a loved one, either to COVID or other circumstances, has been felt by all of us at one time or another. In addition, the weeks leading up to Christmas can be a pressured time, and frazzled nerves can cause us to get beside ourselves. This is why Christ Church offers our Rosemary Service of Remembrance, a quiet, reflective worship that helps us to slow down and recover ourselves. We welcome everyone to join us in a comforting and meditative service of prayer, music, and readings, as we lift up all of those loved ones who have left us.

 Advent III

Sunday, December 11th

at 8:00 in Old Brick

9:00 Family Worship in New Brick

and 10:30 a.m. with music and choir in the New Brick Sanctuary

10:30 a.m. is livestreamed via the CEC website, Facebook, and YouTube

Join us for Holy Eucharist at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. in New Brick, as well as youth and adult formation classes and coffee hour fellowship.

Christ Church's Annual

Community Caroling and Cookie Exchange

Sunday, December 11th

at 6:00 p.m. in New Brick

and via the CEC website, Facebook, and YouTube

Christ Church will host our annual "Caroling and Cookies" amidst New Brick’s beauty and candlelight. We’ll sing of God’s glorious presence captured in some of the most beautiful and beloved carols from around the world. We’ll have our Cookie Exchange - now a cherished (and delicious!) tradition at Christ Church - following the singing, so we invite you to bring along some of your baked seasonal goods to share with others.

Centering Prayer

Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom

November 26 & December 5, 12, and 19

Bishop Sutton recently led a day-long retreat at Christ Church that focused on Centering Prayer and how it can help manage life's crises and stresses. Centering Prayer is a unique method of prayer that helps us be present and open to God, moving us beyond conversation with Christ and towards communion with Him. Everyone is welcome to join us for this special gathering on Mondays at 7:00 p.m., so if you'd like the Zoom details, let us know and we'll send them to you.

Advent Compline

Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in Old Brick

December 1, 8, 15, and 22

The quiet and meditative service of Compline will be offered at Christ Church on four Thursday evenings during Advent, each at 7:00 p.m. in Old Brick. Please join us for an opportunity to be together in prayer and music during one of the busiest times of the year. The restful nature of Compline is perfect for helping you to focus on the love of God, and the coming of God’s perfect gift, Jesus.

Taizé

Friday evenings at 6:00 p.m. in Old Brick

December 2, 9, 16, and 23

This service offers quiet meditation, music, Scripture, and prayer in an intimate setting, offering us each a chance to remember and honor those in our own lives and the life of the community through the lighting of candles as well as prayers for healing and peace. Please join us at 6 p.m. in Old Brick to share in a peaceful end to each week.

Advent IV & Youth Sunday

Sunday, December 18th

at 8:00 in Old Brick

9:00 Family Worship in New Brick

and 10:30 a.m. with music and choir in the New Brick Sanctuary

10:30 a.m. is livestreamed via the CEC website, Facebook, and YouTube

This is the final Sunday prior to Christmas Day, so join us as we eagerly anticipate the coming of the Christ child. Join us for Holy Eucharist at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. in New Brick, as well as youth and adult formation classes between services and coffee hour fellowship afterward.

Also on this special Sunday, the extraordinary youth of Christ Church will lead us in worship. They will use their exceptional gifts to serve as ushers, musicians, and lectors, as well as deliver the sermon of the day. It is one of our favorite Sundays on the calendar and we hope you’ll join us.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Sunday, December 18th

at 6:00 p.m. in the New Brick Sanctuary

and via the CEC website, Facebook, and YouTube

Christ Church will hold a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in New Brick, a truly wonderful gathering whose origins date back to late 19th century England. All are most welcome to join us in this celebration of glorious carols, anthems, and hymns led by our wonderful choir, interspersed with Bible passages. Please join us - in person or online - for an evening of joyful expression, in word and song, of the greatest story that has ever been told.

The Jesse Tree

Each day throughout December

on our website's Jesse Tree page

Last year during Advent at Christ Church, we began to invite parishioners and families to observe the tradition of a Jesse Tree celebration in their homes. This tradition honors the genealogy of Jesus Christ, tracing his Old and New Testament ancestors and telling the history of God's act of salvation.

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