December 22 at 10am, baby angels and elder angels, young and older shepherds, a few live animals and more of paper mâché will help create the annual Christmas Pageant which tells the story of the arrival of the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. It is the fourth Sunday in Advent and the culmination of the reflections on the Christmas Carol by Dickens and the choir will offer the finale line with the anthem “God Bless Us Everyone” by Ahrens and Mencken. The service will begin as usual with prayers and the telling of the children’s story after which the children will be dismissed to find their costumes and prepare. The service is filled with the lessons and carols telling the Christmas Story. After the service folks will share in the annual dessert potluck and then proceed with carolling to loved ones whoo are unable to come to church. Everyone is welcome.
On Tuesday December 24, Christmas Eve, there are two candlelight services: a family service at 4pm and a more jubilant service which begins at 11pm and ends at the stroke of midnight to welcome in Chrismtas day. The 4pm service is designed with families in mind. Peter Amidon will lead the choir in thee anthems: “Stil, Still, Still”, a traditional German hymn;” Lala Mtoto Lala”, a Kenyan lullaby; and “Magnificat”, composed by Peter Amidon. Rev Lise Sparrow will share a story with the children and offer selected readings and reflections. Derrick Harnsh will read the scripture lessons and Cara Fisher and Conie Green will accompany hymns on flute.
AT 11pm Andy Davis will lead the choir in five anthems and invite congregational singing of many hymns. Rev Sparrow will weave together lessons and reflections
with the theme “the Beginning is Near”. Anthems include: ‘Oh Mary”, an African American gospel favorite; “Lala Mtoto Lala”, a Kenyan lullaby, “Shepherds ARise and favorite Nowell shape note piece, and “Welcome Blessed Christmas Morn”,music by Edvard Greig, words by Larry Crockett, amd “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”.
A brass band opens the midnight hour with “Joy to the World”. You will not fall asleep before midnight! The congregation wishes everyone the best of holidays and a blessed New Year.
Guilford Community Church, an Open and Affirming/Just Peace Congregation of the United Church of Christ, is fully handicapped accessible and committed to providing hearing assistance and ASL interpretation, if given notice ahead. The church is located one mile south of exit 1 on Route 5 just in back of the Guilford Country Store. For more information call 257-2776, check the website at www.guilfordchurch.org or friend us on Facebook at “Guilford Community Church”. Services are also filmed and can be found on BCTV Wednesday morning at 7am and Sunday mornings at 8am or anytime online at www.brattleborotv.or