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, of anticipation, of preparation, and of longing.
Advent is the beginning of the church 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). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve proper beginning at sundown. This year the season of Advent begins on Sunday, November 29th.
The liturgical color of the season is traditionally purple, but has been replaced by blue (to differentiate it from Lent) in many churches, as is the case here at Christ Church.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. The 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 that Christ Episcopal Church offers to all - those who join us each Sunday, those who visit more seasonally, and those who have never entered our doors. And although we may need to do so virtually these days, the value of worship never diminishes. We welcome each and every one of you, always, and wish you all a most blessed and healthy season.
Advent and Christmas Schedule
all dates are online-only; details subject to change
Upcoming Worship Services
Morning and Evening Prayer livestreams
Monday - Wednesday this week at 7:00 a.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Our new tradition continues as Father Manny, Deacon Denise, and other members of the Christ Church family lead us in a brief prayer service to begin and end each day. If you're interested in leading an occasional service, please email us - we would love to have others join in this shared ministry.
Christ Church on Christmas Eve
Thursday, December 24th @ 4:00 & 8:00 p.m.
Christ Church's annual youth pageant will be a 4:00 p.m. presentation this year, and it can be seen on our website, Facebook, and YouTube pages. Later that evening, our organist, cantor, and vocalists will lead the musical presentation for the 8:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service from New Brick, so join us on any one of our three livestream sites.
Christmas Day Worship
Friday, December 25th @ 10:00 a.m.
Christmas Day Eucharist is a truly exceptional service, so as the hymnist suggested, “Come and worship… worship Christ, the new-born King!”
First Sunday After Christmas
Sunday, December 27th at 10:00 a.m.
On this Sunday morning, we will have our Holy Eucharist service time of 10:00 a.m.
New Year's Day Eucharist
Friday, January 1st @ 10:00 a.m.
We will gather online for this first morning of the new calendar year, and collectively begin this New Year with a Holy Eucharist and prayers for a healthier and more peaceful 2021.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Sunday, November 29th at 10:00 a.m.
Begin the Advent season with us as we livestream from New Brick.
“Shining God’s Light in the World”
Led by the Rev. Denise Schiavone, Deacon
Saturday, December 5th
from 9:00-11:00 a.m.
This online retreat, open to all, will be a morning of respite and restoration. Exploring how we nurture the light within to allow us to shine forth in the world, we will share time in active reflection, discussion and exercises. We’ll also participate in a guided meditation session, led by guest facilitator/yoga instructor Danielle Beyers. The retreat will conclude with an online Eucharist.
One of our hopes for this contemplative morning is to compile a Pandemic Journal, to explore how this 10-month period of semi-isolation has affected our lives. This retreat is a time to connect with each other expressing our concerns, our hopes and our need for joy in our lives.
We encourage all interested individuals - both parish members and visitors - to participate. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For planning purposes, we would love to know if you plan on attending, by sending an email or text message. However, a spontaneous decision to attend is also more than welcome.
Zoom details will be published in next week's Christ Church emails. If you would like to receive them, please email us. We hope you’ll join us for this special day of centering, contemplation, and connection.
Sunday, December 6th at 10:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist for this, the Second Sunday of Advent, will livestream from New Brick. Deacon Denise will lead us in this morning's worship, with organ and choral accompaniment by Adam Detzner and Kareem Mack.
December Organ Recital
Sunday, December 6th at 5:00 a.m.
Our Director of Music, Adam Detzner, presents his monthly organ recital from the choir loft of New Brick. This online event has become a firm favorite, and we hope that you'll join us for an hour of wonderful music.
WOCC Holiday Celebration
Monday, December 7th at 12:00 noon
"Tis the season to make merry," so meet with the other women of Christ Church for some Christmas festivity online, December 7th from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Instead of a formal meeting, we will be celebrating the holidays together. Dress in your Christmas clothing if the spirit moves you. There will be games and merriment. All women ages 18 and above are automatically members of the WOCC, so we hope that you will all come and celebrate the holidays with us! Once again, we will be meeting via the Zoom meeting app, which is free and available for sign up on Zoom.us. If you're interested, email us at email@example.com.
Rosemary Service of Remembrance:
Worship When Christmas is a Difficult Time
Saturday, December 12th @ 4:00 p.m.
The season leading up to Christmas can be a pressured time when frazzled nerves can help cause us to get beside ourselves. Christ Church offers Rosemary Service of Remembrance, a quiet worship that helps us to slow down and recover ourselves. We especially invite individuals and families for whom Christmas will generate painful memories of loss to join us in a comforting and meditative service of prayer, music, and readings. In candlelight, sprigs of rosemary represent remembrances of those who are missed at this season of Jesus’ birth. The title for this worship comes from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, in act IV, scene V: “There’s rosemary; that’s for remembrance. Pray, love, remember.” The herb rosemary has, for centuries, held great meaning as the symbol of remembrance. Legend speaks of the Virgin Mary, while resting, spreading her cloak over a white, flowering rosemary bush. The flowers turned the pale blue of her cloak, and from then on the bush was referred to as the “Rose of Mary”. This online service is intended to help worshipers “pray, love, and remember.”
Sunday, December 13th at 10:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist for the Third Sunday of Advent will livestream from New Brick. Father Manny and Deacon Denise will lead us in today's worship, with musical and choral accompaniment by Adam Detzner and Kareem Mack.
"Christ Church Caroling"
Saturday, December 19th at 7:00 p.m.
Christ Church presents our annual "Christ Church Caroling" gathering, but this year - like many events and gatherings these days - it will be held from our own homes, as an online-only event. We'll all sing of God’s glorious presence captured in some of the most beautiful and beloved carols from around the world. We hope that all of you will gather with us for this fun and festive celebration. The Zoom link will be in that Thursday's Christ Church Gatherings email. If you would like to receive this, please tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, December 20th at 10:00 a.m.
The fourth Sunday during Advent will have Holy Eucharist livestreamed at 10:00 a.m. from New Brick.
Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Sunday, December 20th @ 7:00 p.m.
Christ Church will hold a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Zoom for the first time, an online gathering whose more analog origins date back to late 19th century England. We welcome you all to join us in this celebration of glorious carols, anthems, and hymns with Bible passages read by various Christ Church parishioners. Please join us for an evening of joyful expression, in word and song, of the greatest story that has ever been told.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.