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24 December 2022: Carols for ChristmasA blue music clef

We hold two carol services on Christmas Eve. We started some years ago with one, which expanded into two so we could get everyone in who wished to come. Then we went to three, with the extra one aimed mainly at an adult congregation. Following the Covid lockdowns we now have just two, one mainly for children and the other mainly for adults. We actually get adults and children at both but it is usually the older children who come to the second one.

This year one of my fellow lay ministers ran the first carol service and I ran the second. There were over 200 people present for the first and over 100 for the second. Most of those at the second service we don’t usually see; these included at least one couple who normally worship at one of our neighhbouring churches.

For the second service we had five readings, several carols and prayers. We had an organist but no choir. Fortunately the members of the congregation were all in good voice. We started by lighting the last of the Advent candles, which reminds us of the light of Christ.

As is our custom, we had a crib scene under our altar, with painted figures representing Joseph, Mary, Jesus and the shepherds with a sheep. We don’t have figures representing the wise men and I doubt whether we could fit them in if we did. After the fourth reading there was an opportunity for all those who wished to come to the altar steps to view the crib more closely.

I led the prayers and gave the blessing. The collection from this service will be given to the Church Mission Society.