This service will be IN PERSON and Zoom only as of 4:30 PM on Christmas Eve. The full Zoom information is at the bottom of this letter, but the simple link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84071749891
I know how much this town loves its Christmas Eve service, and I am glad because I love it, too. One person in town talks with glistening eyes about coming out of the late night service into the stillness of the Upper Village with a gentle snow falling and feeling a peace like no other time or place.
Our Christmas Eve service is as close as we can get to pure beauty and pure joy–the children, the candlelight, the familiar carols and the gorgeous choral and instrumental music, this year featuring Sarah Cantor and the Cantornote Church Musicians with recorders and guitar, as well as our choir.
The words are beautiful, too, although they need some explaining. The United Church of Strafford was one of the first in the Upper Valley to adopt a standard of inclusive-language. It is a mostly female-led congregation that aspires to be a force working for peace, justice and the care of the earth.
And yet on Christmas Eve you will hear the Shakespeare-era King James Version of the Bible and the pre-inclusive language versions of the traditional hymns.
You can blame me for this. I use them partly because of their beauty, but more because the music of those words can work an emotional magic for people who attended Christmas Eve services when they were young. If you are missing your parents or grandparents or the world of your childhood, hearing the same diction and cadence can bring back a comforting echo, a sense of being present there again, as nothing else can.
The service is not solely traditional lessons and carols. We have an informal time with the children at the start of the service and a brief candle-lit story that comes just before we all light our candles and sing Silent Night. We hope for laughter as well as wonder.
All are welcome: all neighbors and guests; all races and religions; all gender identities and sexual orientations; all ages and walks of life. We hope you will feel how blessed we are by one another’s presence and by the opportunity to bring our diversity together in one loving community.
We ask that you be masked for this service so that we can sit close together and sing and feel protected from all the viruses going around, including the latest covid strain.
Pastor Tom Kinder
Topic: Christmas Eve 5:30 PM 2022
Time: Dec 24, 2022 05:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 840 7174 9891
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Meeting ID: 840 7174 9891
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kTui9DF2m