Someone was startled this week that there were two services on Christmas Eve, that weren’t contiguous. That was a change we made last year, responding to concerns that the outdoor service running right into candlelight was too long, and that Candlelight itself was too long. As well we hoped that with two distinct services, we might actually serve more people. Which turned out to be true. And different people… more people we don’t yet know.
We are having the two distinct services again this year. The first one is more informal and participative: following the Donkey, Mary and joseph around the neighborhood, looking for room in the Inn and caroling, before they find their way to our creche, are joined by Jesus, the Shepherds and the Wise Ones. There’s a pinata afterwards too. (It’s all adopted from a Mexican service called “Las Posadas.” So, I guess, it’s a bit more kid friendly.
Candlelight, the second service, is a bit abbreviated too, and we end by recessing out to the Creche following the nativity characters to sing “Joy to the World” outside before the Benediction and Passing of the Peace of Christmas.
In other words, we offer the Creche at both services.
Some families came to both, and went to dinner in Old City in between. Some of us involved in both just order in Chinese in between (speak with Michael if you want to join that crowd!)
So figure out which suits your spirit and your need on Christmas Eve:
5 p.m. Outdoor Service of Caroling with the animals
8 p.m. Candlelight Service.
And then take a minute and consider, who could I invite to either or both!