A congregation of the United Church of Canada
“We deck our holy halls!”
It’s that time of year again – decorating for Christmas time. My family will take advantage of the mild temperatures this week and get our outdoor lights strung and our garlands wrapped around pillars. And, of course, we’ll out our illuminated Holy Family figures out. We’ll probably hold off on turning the lights on until Advent begins (December 3rd), but it’s good to put them all out before it gets too cold outside.
I was just chatting with someone who lives on ‘one of those streets’ where there is intense peer pressure to go all out in decorating one’s yard for Christmas. Do they do it because they love Christmas that much? Or is it community building? Or is it just ‘keeping up with the Joneses’? Who knows.
I do hope that our decorating is a labour of love though. I hope that as we dig out our buckets of lights and whatnots that it feels more joyful than burdensome. And I really hope that we’re doing it all as a reflection of our anticipation of the wondrous celebration of the birth of Jesus. (That is what Christmas is supposed to be about, by the way.) As the days get shorter, and the darkness increases, the colourful displays of Christmas lights are a beautiful way to light up the darkness. It’s a reminder that light will always find a way to shine, even in the darkest times. Christmas is coming!
On Sunday November 26th after worship we’ll have our annual ‘Advent Event’. We have a pot-luck lunch and a ‘decorate the church for Christmas’ party. We deck our holy halls! I hope it is a labour of love for Faith. Sure, there’s a lot of work, and fuss, but we are setting the stage to celebrate Christmas, and that should be joyous. I hope you’ll join us for the decorating party! (And the pot-luck, of course!)
Advent actually doesn’t begin until December this year, but the timing works best to have the decorating done on the 26th. Then, when we worship on Advent 1, we’ll already be all dressed up for the holidays.
We also have a quirky calendar this year where Advent 4 happens on Christmas Eve morning. That means church in the morning, and then 2 Christmas Eve services later in the day. Our usual pattern has been to have the Family Service at 6:30pm and the Communion Service at 8:00pm. The turnaround between them has felt a little tight, so this year we’re asking you if there are better times? Perhaps families might prefer Christmas Eve worship at 4pm, or 4:30pm, or 5pm, or 5:30pm? And maybe the later service might change time too? Please let us know your thoughts.
But before we can do Christmas Eve we have to make things ready. Tis the season to prepare for the season! Help us kick it off with a pot-luck and some decorating on the 26th! Fa la la la la, la la la la!