Letter from the Rector: Christmas Eve 2021
Dear siblings in Christ,
What a year it has been! Individually and collectively, willingly or unwillingly, with excitement or with trepidation, the celebration of Christmas is approaching for each one of us. We are all tired. Perhaps we are angry, scared, frustrated, grieving, lonely, or even lost. Perhaps we are all of those at once. Now is the time to set our worries aside as we travel towards the manger together.
This Christmas Eve (Friday, Dec. 24), COS is offering a variety of worship opportunities to celebrate the birth of Christ, yet again in our midst. Each of these Christmas Eve events reflects its own distinctive way to celebrate the occasion. All of them will be offered in person, as well as via our livestream, so you may wish to join us more than once!
At 4 pm we’ll begin with a Christmas Pageant, including a spoken Holy Eucharist. This service will last an hour or less and will highlight our children. This worship service is for families with young children as well as anyone who desires to spend time Christmas Eve with families and young children.
At 5:30 pm there will be a Holy Eucharist in Mandarin Chinese in Grace Chapel. The sermon will be spoken in both English and Mandarin. This service is ideal for anyone who speaks Mandarin as well as those of any age who desire to spend Christmas Eve with people speaking Mandarin Chinese.
At 8:00 pm we’ll celebrate our Festive Holy Eucharist with brass, organ, and cello, as well as our beloved COS choir. We will sing the psalm and listen to a full sermon as well. With a look and feel like the joyous Christmas Eve celebrations many of us remember from childhood, this worship service will last about an hour and a half. The language will shift between English and Mandarin but will mostly be spoken in English. This service for anyone wishing to have the full Christmas Eve experience at COS.
At 11:00 pm we will hold a Candlelight Vespers and Eucharist in Grace Chapel, in English. This contemplative experience is being offered (in person and via livestream) for anyone approaching their Christmas Eve celebration with contemplation, or solemnity or even grief. This service will highlight an ensemble from the COS choir, as well as our cellist and organist. We will read stories from the Christmas narrative, sing hymns, and hear anthems as we slowly end the day. This worship service is planned for those who wish for their Christmas Eve to end in prayer and contemplation.
We also invite you to a streamed Compline, which will be sent out on Christmas Day (Dec. 25) at 7 pm, as well as our normal full schedule of Sunday services (8, 10, 11:15, and 4 pm) on Sunday, December 26.
Let me wish you a Merry Christmas! We here at COS are better because you are a part of this community.