So here it is, Thanksgiving already. Wasn’t the 4th of July just a few weeks ago, and Labor Day just last weekend? As with so many things, Covid has changed and will change the character of this year’s holiday celebrations. My hopes and prayers are that you will be surrounded by those you love, and truly give thanks for the many blessings received, even bushelsful, according to Brenda.
And of course, Thanksgiving ushers in the season of holiday busyness, which is ironic when we remember that it is the birth of the Prince of Peace that we celebrate. The four Sundays of the Advent season begins on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, serving at least a couple of purposes. One, of course, is to reflect upon and prepare for the celebration of the nativity, the birth of Christ. Another is to be reminded that Christ will return, and the faithful ought to be ready. In the meantime, in the here and now, the faithful live between those two.
We all need a little Christmas, and as you’ll read elsewhere in this edition, the Hanging of the Greens is Sunday November 28, and there will be a toned-down Noel celebration after worship on December 12. At Sunday worship there will be Advent and Christmas music sung by soloists, duets, or perhaps even a small ensembles of choir members. The hymn selection will include both Advent hymns and Christmas carols as well.
Another special event is coming on Tuesday evening, December 21 at 7.30 pm, a Longest Night service, sometimes known as Blue Christmas. This time has been set aside to step away from the demands of the season, to reflect, meditate, pray, remember losses, and hear again words of comfort and hope through scripture and hymns.
All of these things will lead us to Christmas Eve, December 24 with two services. A family service will be at 5.00 pm. At 9.00 pm a candlelight service of lessons and carols with music from a choir ensemble.
As we continue to navigate through the continuing pandemic, I pray for health and safety for all. Please take good care, and remain steadfast in faith.