December Youth Group Update

December is here, and for EYC this means that it is time for the Nativity Christmas Pageant. There is excitement in the air as we have already been planning and rehearsing. For some, this will be their last time to be a part of the Christmas Pageant, and for others this will be their first. But for all, it will be fun and joyful.

One of the great things about the Christmas Pageant is that EYC members can reflect on who they are and who God has called them to be by acting out the story of the Nativity. By acting out this story, our EYC brings parts of themselves to this story of our Lord. More importantly, this Nativity pageant immerses them in the story by pulling them directly into it as they act it out.

Please help us by making sure that the EYC is here the next two Sunday nights so we can practice. And, please pray for the EYC and all of those who are involved in the Christmas Pageant as we work on this joyous event.

December Choir Corner by David Williamson

As we approach the two shortest seasons of the Liturgical Year, I’m reminded of the old saying that Good Friday belongs to the Roman Catholics, Easter belongs to the Eastern Orthodox Christians, but Advent, Christmas, and all the Holy Days dealing with the Incarnation are the domain of us Anglicans. We are militant in refusing to celebrate Christmas without thoroughly preparing ourselves though Advent. Our hymnody embraces and reinforces the dual preparation for both the celebration of the first coming of Jesus and the proclamation of his return in glory. Among the Advent favorites in our hymnal are “Hark, a thrilling voice is sounding,” “On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry,” “Prepare the way, O Zion,” ”Sleepers Wake,” “Lo! He comes with clouds descending,” and “O come, O come, Emmanuel.”

The Gloria in Excelsis (the song at the beginning of worship that begins, “Glory to God in the Highest...”) is given up for Advent but will return in our worship on Christmas Eve in the metrical form of “Angels we have heard on high.” This is appropriate since the first lines
of the Gloria in Excelsis comes directly from the angels’ mouths as they announce the birth of Jesus to the shepheards.

During Advent, we will once again sing the Schubert’s Kyrie (“Lord, have mercy upon us...”) and Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy Lord...”) along with Mark Schweitzer’s “St. James’ Christmas Service” setting of the Agnus Dei (“O, Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world...”) to the tune “Greensleeves.” Greensleeves is the tune most are familiar with as the setting of “What Child is This?”