O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see you lie!
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by;
Yet in your dark streets shines forth
the everlasting light,
The hopes and fears of all the years
are met in you tonight.
For so many of us, over the years, a Christmas Eve candlelight worship service is the perfect preparation for our celebrations of Christmas and the birth of the Christ-child. Singing all the familiar Christmas carols, hearing the Gospel story of the birth of Jesus, culminating in the glow of candlelight on uplifted faces as we sing “Silent Night, Holy Night” is the quintessential Christmas Eve community experience. Yet, as we all know, such a time indoors in our gorgeously decorated sanctuary is impossible this pandemic year.
Instead, we want to invite you to an outdoors Christmas Eve worship on the library lawn next door to our church, at 5:30pm (about 30 minutes long), with appropriate social distancing and masks worn. We will share the Christmas story from Luke’s Gospel, under our masks hum along to several familiar Christmas carols, and finish with lighting candles. People should dress warmly and promise not to break the social distance norms we all undertake. Yes, it doesn’t replace the gatherings we all love inside the church, but maybe, just maybe, it works for this 2020 year!
And for those who know that outdoors and in-person doesn’t work and is not a reasonable choice, we have designed a virtual version of readings and carols and will live-stream this from your pastor’s house on the church’s Facebook page on Christmas Eve at 8pm. It will also include a reading from Robyn for children. Afterwards, we will add this live-stream worship to our church’s website–www.ManitouChurch.org–for others to view on Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas to all!
P.S. There is a nice article in the Pikes Peak Bulletin this week about our library lawn Christmas Eve candlelight worship on page six.