From Deacon George …

Normal 2: Changing Up Christmas

In 2011, Nancy Davidge (Episcopal Church Foundation and Episcopal Divinity School) wrote an article titled A New Normal 2: Communion, about how uncomfortable she felt when first attending a new church and receiving Communion in the round – as we normally do at St. John’s – instead of kneeling at an altar rail. But eventually, she wrote, “I came to love the act of celebrating communion as part of a circle of worshippers. Standing face-to-face with the rest of the congregation while partaking of the body and blood of Christ resonates with me in a different way than my private moment with God. I feel part of something bigger, and this feeling is empowering.” 

Those words are appropriate for us today, as we examine our own response to not being able to receive Communion in our accustomed style, or for most of us not at all, save the Virtual Communion prayer that we currently pray during our Sunday Zoom Eucharists. You can find Davidge’s short article here; it is a worthy read. But first, carry on to learn how we might find Christmas comfort and joy in a new way this season, with a plethora of inviting concerts and services coming to us from the National Cathedral…  

Your Ticket to a Glorious Christmas –

While St. John’s will not conduct Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services this year, we are fortunate to have access to the full lineup of Advent and Christmas programming available virtually from our National Cathedral. If you’d like to receive links for all of the Advent and Christmas programs by email, register for a free (donations accepted) one-time Christmas Season Pass. On the day of each program you’ll receive access instructions by email.

Click here to register for the full Christmas Season Pass!

Or, to register for only certain services, click on the titles below.

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sundays at 6 pm EST during Advent
As we anticipate the arrival of the Messiah, make room in your heart for the coming season of joy with a series contemplative and inspirational services of prayer and music shaped by the words of the prophet Isaiah.

Gospel Christmas Service
Friday, December 18, 2020 at 6 pm EST
In this season of good tidings of great joy, find your Christmas spirit as the gospel comes alive through jazz and gospel music and readings from Holy Scripture.

Joy of Christmas Concert
Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 3 pm EST
Joy of Christmas from the Cathedral Choral Society. This year’s cinematic production includes new takes on traditional tunes alongside your favorite carols.

Christmas Lessons & Carols
Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 6 pm EST
Scripture, favorite hymns and the Cathedral’s best-in-class music. We will tell again the ancient story of God’s love that took flesh in Jesus Christ, and we’re saving a seat just for you!

Family Christmas Service
Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 12 noon EST
The animals from the manger will gather in the Bishop’s Garden at the Cathedral as we celebrate the arrival of the baby Jesus with carols and prayers!

Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist
Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 8 pm EST
There’s no better place to spend Christmas Eve than at the Cathedral, with hymns and carols to join the angels in announcing the birth of the Messiah.

Christmas Organ Recital
Friday, December 25, 2020 at 12 noon EST
Cathedral organists Thomas Sheehan and George Fergus present a program of festive Christmas music on the Cathedral’s Great Organ. Make a cup of cocoa, wear your holiday-appropriate ugly sweaters and socks and celebrate Christmas together!

I hope you can make as many of these offerings a part of your Advent and Christmas. Stay safe and Have a Blessed Week!

Deacon George

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