I guess because of my surgery and recovery, time has quickly been speeding along. December is here and I hardly realize it. It is difficult to comprehend all the preparation for the celebration of the Christ Child that must be completed soon. It is a blessing indeed that we are given this time to prepare, whether it is speeding along quickly or moving at a snail’s pace as for our children and grandchildren. The importance is not the speed which time passes but that we are preparing our hearts to let the Christ Child enter in. That is what Advent is for. It is not a “little Lent.” It is a season that is permeated with joy. Anticipation and expectation, just like a little child for Christmas Day to arrive, we should be preparing our hearts for the Child that was born for us—born to die for us–—born to bring us salvation and life everlasting with Him. What a blessing it is to have a God who loves us so much that he sent his only son.
This year, December 6th falls on a Sunday. December 6th is not just the Second Sunday of Advent, it is also St. Nicholas Day. Following the 10:30 Eucharist we will have a special visitor for our youth. St. Nicholas himself will make his appearance and invite our young ones (even the young at heart may follow) to the Bookstore where they will be listening to the classic, The Night Before Christmas. St. Nicholas will be spreading around the wealth of a few chocolate coins.
December 6th will also be the day we have our Advent Lessons and Carols. This year we are trying to make the evening end a little earlier for our young ones. We will be greeting each other and having a little food at 5 pm with Advent Lessons and Carols begin at 6 pm. I want to encourage everyone to take an evening out to prepare by listening to Scripture and lifting up your voice in anticipation by singing of hymns. Advent Lessons and Carols is a very moving service and I hope to see you there.
Saturday, December 12th from 2 pm until 6 pm the staff will have an Advent Open House at the Kresowaty’s. We hope you will take the time out for fellowship during the Season of Advent and join us. It is a time to meet and greet good friends and welcome people we might not know who have joined St. Alban’s this past year. Each year we have been able to have you join us has been a wonderful way to deepen and express our joy for the relationship God has given each one of us in you.
The Christmas Schedule will be as follows: On Thursday, Christmas Eve we will have the Family Christmas Eucharist at 5:30 pm. This will include our youth choir and young ones who always provide such joy with their presentations. At 8:00 pm we will have a Sung Eucharist (no incense) with the Chamber Choir and Brass. At 10:30 we will celebrate a Solemn High Eucharist with incense with the Chamber Choir and Brass. On Christmas Day we will have a said Eucharist at 10 am with Harp and Cello. We thank Dorothy Lynn Brooks and Mary Manneikis for providing the music for this service.
Of great importance: please note that on the First Sunday after Christmas Day, December 27th we will have ONE Eucharist at 9:00 am. There will be no 8:00 am or 5:30 pm Eucharist that day. Please mark it on your calendar so that the whole Parish may join us in this one celebration. In addition, following this 9:00 am Eucharist, quiche and beverages will be served in the narthex.
Please feel free to invite your family and Christmas guests to join us. We will return to our regular schedule on January 3, 2016.
I hope everyone has a fruitful preparation during this Advent Season and will make every effort to join us in worship and other activities. I and my family wish everyone a very Blessed Nativity of our Lord and Savior and New Year. See you at the Altar!