Monday, December 24, Christmas Eve

The Holy Eucharist with Children's Homily, 4 p.m.

Solemn High Holy Eucharist, 10 p.m., preceded by Carol Sing at 9:30 p.m.
(Incense will be used.)

Fr. Morsch will officiate at both services.

Wassail and cookies will be served in Pearson Hall, following each service.
Worship Notes

The Collect:
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. A men.

Christmas Eve: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

The Epistle
“For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all.” Titus 2:11
The Gospel | Luke 2:1-14(15-20)

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see-- I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"
Christmas Greetings from Fr. Joel

The country has been launched with incredible vigor into the “holiday” shopping season for months now. This started as early as Halloween. In the past, I might have decried the fact that the “Holiday Season” began earlier and earlier each year.

However, I decided a while ago that this might be, perhaps, a good thing. I am not saying that commercialism and materialism are good things. Instead, I am saying it is a wondrous fact that in the midst of rampant materialism, many Christians are able to pause and think about something other than themselves.

We remember that there are others. We seem to be more willing to help the poor and the needy. Some of us give to worthy charities. Many of us wish our neighbors a Merry Christmas and really mean it! Some of us may have been lighting candles on Sundays in Advent. We recall the birth of our hope and our salvation, our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God. Let me encourage everyone to enjoy the season of Christmas. It is okay to listen to carols and put up decorations earlier than Christmas and keep them up for all of Christmastide.

We begin our Christmas, as Anglicans worldwide will, in the late afternoon (4:00 p.m) and the late evening (10:00 p.m.) on Monday, December 24. Jesus Christ is the reason for Christmas. It is Christ’s Mass. God the Son came to humankind in a nearly incomprehensible act of divine humility to become one of us, as a helpless child in Bethlehem, more than two thousand years ago. Jesus Christ came that he might redeem all of us. That was and is the “Good News” for everyone in all God’s creation! It is the gift available to all of us free for the taking. It is the best gift of all. God chose to reconcile with us while we were yet sinners.

The Twelve Days of Christmastide conclude on Sunday, January 6. So, celebrate for all of Christmastide and rejoice in the wonder that is the person of Jesus who has come to save us.

Have a blessed and glorious Christmastide,
Father Joel
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I am the light of the world.
John 8:12