Technically, Christmas doesn’t start until Christmas day itself, but so much of what we do as we start to celebrate Christmas is also about getting ready for the real thing:
Today at the school service we thought about what God gives us at Christmas, and the children took back symbols of joy, peace and light to put in all the classrooms (as well as in the school office, staffroom and kitchens!) – and every child and adult at the service got a little paper star with words chosen by the children on it: ‘For today in Bethlehem the love of God has come to men” – it’s a quotation from their favourite carol and is a reminder that all God’s gifts to us are because of his great love for us.
The pre-school and nursery children also came to church this week for their own services, and re-told the story using the figures from our knitted nativity sets – we sent Mary, Joseph, the Donkey, the Shepherds (and their sheep), the star, the Wise Men (and their camel) on a journey, and the angel watched over everything.
This Sunday (23rd) is the last Sunday in Advent, and we focus on Mary, and her amazing part in God’s plan. It’s an All Age service, so everyone is welcome. Our music will be led by Chris and Sam, as usual, with Angel Voices. Do come if you can.
Then on Christmas Eve we have the Crib Service at 2.30pm – everyone is encouraged to come along dressed as a character from the Christmas story.
Later that evening, at 8pm, we have our Quiet Christmas service – for those for whom this time is really hard and want to hear the real Christmas message but without all the jollity and festive spirit. All are welcome.
‘Midnight Mass’ starts at 11.30pm and is the moment when we celebrate the miracle of heaven touching earth. Do come if you can.
If you prefer mornings to late nights, then you can come along for a quieter communion service at 8am on Christmas day, or for a more informal service at 10am – you will be welcome either way.