A community reshaping itself to be fit for God's purpose.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

T'is The Wassailing Season

Ho Wassailers!

Carols, now a regular feature of most church services during the Advent and Christmas seasons, didn’t make their way into religious services until late in the 19 th century. The first example of English Christmas Carols appears around 1426. However, at this time they were not considered religious enough to be sung in church. Carols were the province of wassailers – villagers or townsfolk who went from house to house singing in return for a wassail bowl of ale. Carols were communal folk songs – street, field, and alehouse songs, often quite bawdy, sung at times such as harvest as well as Christmas. The modern practice of caroling in public places harkens back to this earlier tradition.

With the publication of Christmas music books, the craze for singing carols in church went viral – in a 19 th century sense of that word. As we move into the 20 th century many church composers and musicians were encouraged to write in the carol form as well as research and revive older carols. Examples abound - Christ Was Born on Christmas Day, I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing By, Good King Wenceslas, Good Christian Men Rejoice, and the showstopper of many a Christmas Eve celebration Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful) - were added to the standard repertoire. In fact, nearly all the popular carols we sing today in church derive from 19 th century popularization of earlier carols or 20 th century composition.

This coming Sunday at 3:00 pm we will continue the older tradition of carols in the third year of our annual carol sing-along event. Held in the Great Hall and not in the Church, this is a community, rather than a religious, occasion. Invite neighbors and friends so they can celebrate the season with our St. Martin's community. As you can see from my picture above, there are even special clothes for me to wear to suit this occasion!

I joked in the Sunday announcements that this is an event we can invite others to without fearing the suspicion of wanting to convert them, which seems to still be the major fear for Episcopalians when mentioning they go to church. Last year the Great Hall was filled to capacity with families, groups of friends and neighbors, all singing heartily.

We hope this year’s carol sing-along will be every bit as good as last year’s, if not better. So, I hope to see as many of you, with friends and neighbors in tow, as are able to be here on Sunday at 3:00 pm. Singing is hungry-making work and the carol sing-along will be followed, not by bowls of ale (unfortunately), but by equally delicious Christmas goodies and drink.

See you there or be square!

Also, see you in Church for Advent 3.


St. Martin's Community Carol Sing
Sunday, December 15, 3:00 p.m.

Donations of Christmas treats are gratefully accepted (please remember that St. Martin’s is a peanut-free zone). You may bring your donations to the church service on December 15 or to the Carol Sing at 3 p.m. Question? Feel free to contact the office.
Christmas Gifts for DCYF due Sunday

Thank you to all who signed up to support our annual " Our Hearts are Open" ministry to children in the care of the Department for Children, Youth, and Families. Please remember to return your wrapped gift(s) to the church no later than Sunday, December 15 so that the children receive their gifts in time for Christmas!
Calling All Men and Women -
(to come to the aid of the parish)

John Bracken, David Brookhart and Father Mark are interested to hear from anyone who would like to discuss the responsibilities of becoming a member of the Vestry. This is not an onerous responsibility, but offers an opportunity to help shape our community vision and make those necessary decisions that fall to lay leadership.

We have a deadline to hear by December 20th please!
Upcoming Events
Calling All Shepherds, Sheep and Angels! 

We're looking for young, budding actors and actresses to participate in our Pageant on Christmas Eve at the 4:00 p.m. service. There will be one rehearsal, after the 9:30 a.m. liturgy on December 22. Children of all ages are welcome, and if you have visiting grandchildren or nieces and nephews who would like to take part, we'd love to have them join us! Please email Linda Griggs  if you are interested. 
Aurea Ensemble
Friday, December 20, 7 pm

A Child's Christmas in Wales features a delightful reading of the Dylan Thomas classic story, with musical interludes of Percy Grainger, Benjamin Britten and old English carols. This event will be held at St. Martin's. Click here for more information.
Knitting Ministry Party
Saturday, December 21, 11:30 - 2:30

The Knitting Ministry will be holding a Potluck & Secret Santa Party on Saturday, December 21 from 11:30 to 2:30. Please email Natasha Lofgren for details.
St. Martin's Church | 50 Orchard Ave, Providence RI |02906
(401) 751-2141